How to Strengthen Community Foundations and Ensure their Sustainability: Sharing from Spain with the Global Community

Mercedes Mosquera, Senior Fellow, International Fellows Program ~ 2009




In this paper, Mercedes Mosquera seeks to identify lessons from the global community foundation movement that will help to strengthen Spanish community foundations. None of the five organizations which compose the Spanish Community Foundation Network were established as community foundations. The evolution of these foundations provides not only a model to the international field, but also instructive examples of innovative community leadership and adaptation to particular contexts. At the same time, Spanish community foundations face challenges due to their relative youth, the lack of familiarity with the model of Spain, and the instability brought on by global economic fluctuations.


By means of comparative examples, Mosquera analyzes factors that make a community foundation sustainable. The findings of this analysis are compiled in order to recommend steps that should be taken by the Spanish Network and its support organizations. Recommendations include involving individuals between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five in foundation leadership and planning, and employing a minimum of one paid staff person rather than relying solely on volunteer support as is so often the case at start-up with small foundations.



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