Sharing Knowledge. Growing Impact.
Updated Tour Video
Updated Tour Video
Entering CF Insights Data
Entering CF Insights Data
Creating Peer Groups and Benchmarking Reports
Creating Peer Groups and Benchmarking Reports
CF Insights Members The Field
Services Expert Guidance and Analysis Checked
Peer Learning and Connections Checked
Technical Assistance
with Tools
Consulting and Project Support Checked Checked
Tools Benchmarking and Custom Reports Checked with Annotation
Dashboard for Board Presentations Checked
Activity-Based Costing Analysis Model Checked Checked
Economic Scenario Planning Model Checked Checked
Interactive Strategy Model Checked Checked
Knowledge Member Research Briefs Checked
Trend Analysis and Rankings Checked Checked
Reports on Key Issues and Ideas Checked Checked

* Columbus Survey Participants have on-demand access to a select subset of
benchmarking reports

Data We Collect
Data We Collect

Data Collected by CF Insights

All data collected by CF Insights is available to members as criteria with which to build peer groups and as the basis for over 60 on-demand reports.

Foundation Basics:

  • Fiscal Year End Date
  • Year Foundation Created
  • Staffing by Function
  • Strategic Operating Priorities
  • Affiliations with Other Foundations
  • Software Type Used
  • Engagement in the Following Areas:
    • Community Leadership
    • Fiscal Sponsorship/Fundraising
    • Fundraising for Operations
    • Nonprofit Resource Center
    • Services to Private Foundations
    • Special Initiatives


  • Urban vs. Rural
  • Population of Area Served
  • Geographic Area Served
  • State
  • Region

Assets and Funds:

  • Total Assets
  • Total Assets by Product Type
  • Total Number of Foundation Funds
  • Total Number of DAFs
  • Total Number of Funds Held at SOs
  • Total Number of SOs
  • Operating Endowment and Reserves



  • Total Operating Expenses
  • Special Initiative Operations Expenses
  • Operating Expenses as Percent of Assets


  • Total Foundation Contributions - $ and #
  • Total Contributions to DAFs - $ and #
  • Total Contributions to SOs - $ and #


  • Total Foundation Grants - $ and #
  • Total Grants from DAFs - $ and #
  • Total Grants from SOs - $ and #

Activity-Based Costing Results:

  • Contributions/Subsidies by Product - $
  • Total Cost by Product - $
  • Total Cost by Activity Type - $

Administrative Fee Schedules:

CF Insights collects the following fee information by specific product and fund type.

  • Total Fees
  • Minimum Fees
  • Minimum Fund Balance

Investment Data from the Colonial Consulting/FAOG Investment Survey:

Colonial Consulting and FAOG provide CF Insights with the results of their annual and quarterly investment surveys.

  • Annualized Returns
  • Overall Allocation
  • Equity Allocation
  • Fixed Income Allocation
  • Alternate Allocation

Contact for more information.

CF Stories

Community foundations of all sizes and types benefit from shared knowledge, and from accessing data and tools that enable better decision-making.  The CF Insights team works to bring relevant knowledge to the field, and is focused on helping each community foundation and the field leverage our resources to strengthen performance and community impact.

As a mid-sized community with 11 FTEs, The Dallas Foundation felt understaffed. CF Insights’ data reinforced the feeling with facts.

Using CF Insights' peer selection tool, The Dallas Foundation created a peer group of foundations with similar asset size and composition. The comparative data revealed that Dallas had fewer FTEs than their peers. With data in hand, Dallas went to its board and was successful in making the case to hire an additional staff member in a tight economy.

Has your board or management team recently wondered what other foundations are doing or how they operate? CF Insights benchmarking data can help!

Who are we and who do we want to be?

The Arizona Community Foundation’s strategic planning process tapped a variety of CF Insights resources:

The Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, a relatively young organization, conducted the Activity Based Costing Analysis and compared their results to peers to understand the strengths, weaknesses, and implicit choices built into their current operating model.

Following this close look at their current operations, they began scenario planning to forecast how changes in their foundation's asset levels, donor behavior and staffing structure would impact their economic reality. This forecast was built on feedback from peer learning groups as well as comparative data on staffing, expenses, and giving ratios. Results of the model informed discussions about grant support for additional FTEs from a local private foundation that will help enhance the foundation’s community leadership work.

What tools are right for you? (PDF, 57KB)

Community foundations of all sizes successfully leveraged Benchmarking Beyond Asset Size:  New Top 100 Lists to generate positive publicity and celebrate local philanthropy.  CF Insights’ lists rank community foundations in ways that go beyond asset size, highlighting local giving and grantmaking activity. 

Several community foundations around the US picked up on the rankings, promoting their community's generosity in terms of gifts per capita or gift and grant activity.  Leveraging what worked, other CFs followed their lead.  Explore different options for press release messages. (DOC, 41KB)

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