Strategic plan

2018 Strategic Plan

The Community Foundation’s 50th anniversary is in 2019. We know what a valuable resource this organization and its donors are to the Mid-South, and we want to build on our collective impact for the next 50 years.

Over the next several months, you will hear more from us as we take these results and incorporate them into a new strategic plan. This strategic plan, facilitated by Ekstrom Alley Clontz & Associates, will build off of the high-quality work that we have done to date and evaluate opportunities to improve our work and presence throughout the community. Your support of the Community Foundation is key to our moving forward, both as an organization and as a community.

Among the questions that this planning process must address are:

  • What will the greater Memphis area need from its community foundation ten years hence? Is the foundation positioned to fill that need, particularly around community leadership?

  • What is our shared vision for what the Community Foundation will look like and be ten years hence? To what must we aspire?

  • How will the Community Foundation measure its success?

  • Who are the Community Foundation’s “ideal donors” and what is the most effective way to attract and retain them?

  • What is the right balance between donor-led projects and those led by the community foundation?

  • What is it about how the Community Foundation is organized, how its leaders think, and the way they act, that influences when and whether it achieves its vision? Do current paradigms still work or do they present roadblocks and speed bumps?

  • How does the Community Foundation balance its multiple roles with donors, grantees and its community?

2014 Strategic Plan

In 2014, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis launched a comprehensive planning effort designed to set the Foundation’s strategic agenda for the next three to five years. Based on open and frank discussions with community stakeholders, board and staff developed the plan, which drew on these four themes:

Expanding our Donor Base

Spread the word about the financial advantages that are available and the enhanced impact that prospective donors can have on our community by opening and using a fund at the Community Foundation.  Actively invite everyone who is charitably inclined to take advantage of the services that we provide.  In support of that effort, we will also need to do a better job of telling our story through all of the channels that are available to us.

  • Create a new, active donor development function
    - Directly solicit prospective donors for donor-advised and other types of funds
    - Consider donor solicitation events in group settings, such as workplaces or social organizations
    - Market to both new and existing donors

  • Continue concentrated, indirect marketing to professional advisors (lunch & learn sessions, one-on-one lunches, and sponsorship of professional advisor continuing educational events)

  • Enhance the Foundation’s visibility in the community through:
    - Advertising (WKNO, Memphis Business Journal, advertising in arts programs, Daily News, etc.)
    - CFGM media (electronic media, website, social media, publications)

  • Seek enhanced press coverage

Education and Enrichment

Build a robust platform for donor education, with timely and informative sessions on community needs and area nonprofits, keynoted by experts in their respective fields.  Build a comprehensive community information system that will provide donors and the broader community with current information on key community indicators, research on community issues, a comprehensive database of nonprofits serving the community, and a giving portal that allows donors to make gifts to their favorite causes and agencies.

  • Establish a robust calendar of donor education sessions – six in FY 2015, building to one a month
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive community information system, based on the Memphis and Shelby County’s Livability Dashboard and GuideStar’s Donor Edge


Continue to provide the highest levels of customer service, efficient transaction processing, timely reporting, and superior financial products. Enhance then Foundation’s operating systems to provide for even better donor reporting and higher asset and transaction levels.

  • Expertly manage donor transactions (gifts, grants, scholarship funds, investments, etc.)

  • Develop and implement conversion of internal operating systems to iPhi

  • Enhance donor reporting

  • Encourage donors to take advantage of the Foundation’s educational offerings

Engaged grant making

Continue to offer and enhance collective grant making options, to provide donors opportunities to come together to increase their impact and to get more involved collective experiences

  • Continue to grow membership in GiVE 365 and enhance grant and participatory experiences
  • Examine the creation of new field of interest funds to address specific needs or donor interests in the community