Visit to Atlanta sparks new ideas

Community Foundation benchmarking visitThe Community Foundation of Tampa Bay recently gained new insights and exchanged ideas during a visit to the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. Senior staff and ten board members made the one-day trip to Atlanta.

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta manages $1.1 billion in assets and distributed $162 million in grants and support to non-profit organizations last year. It serves 23 counties in northern Georgia.

The purpose of the visit was similar to chamber of commerce’s “benchmarking visits” to other cities to learn how that city identifies opportunities and overcomes challenges.

“They shared how they determined community priorities and how they orchestrated events,” said board member Sue Williams. “They told us which events worked best for them and which ones didn’t.”

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay representatives told their Atlanta counterparts about the councils that represent the geographic areas served. These councils establish relationships with the nonprofits and focus on understanding the needs of each particular community. The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta does not use this system and was interested in hearing about the councils.

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s board will soon consider some new initiatives that the Atlanta foundation recently started that have brought multiple millions of dollars into its fund that can then have major impact in the community, said board member Patricia Douglas.

The trip also gave the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay’s board and senior staff the chance to connect outside of the typical board meeting.

“The bonding of the group was really key,” echoed Douglas. “It was such a valuable use of our time.” “Unless you are on the same committee, you don’t interact much,” added Williams. “So, it was good to get to know each other more.”

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