Community Link
A newsletter of Napa Valley Community Foundation  
February 2017
Running a nonprofit is like trying to cross the country in a car with a 1-gallon gas tank: you always are stopping to refuel, and asking your donors for more.
Seen in one way, this arrangement is highly inefficient. Time and energy that might otherwise be devoted to advancing your mission get taken up by the pragmatic thrum of fundraising activities.
It's just the cost of doing business in a business that relies, to varying degrees, on other peoples' generosity.
But this peculiar way of working is not without real virtue.  It forces those of us who lead public charities to say, in effect, "How do you like me now?"
This is an essential question--especially when you consider that we have no owners or shareholders to answer to, unlike our for-profit counterparts.
Donors write checks from the heart or the head, and generally vote with their feet.
That's why we've twice hired the Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) to anonymously survey our donors, and compare their responses to a data set comprised of more than 6,000 other community foundation donors nationwide.
We want to know if we're doing a good job, how we compare to our peers, and where we can focus our efforts to improve.
(Full disclosure: we also want to know if there might be a few more gallons of premium unleaded waiting for us at the next exit.)
I'm proud to share the results, below, of our most recent donor survey.
I hope you'll contact me with any questions or comments you may have, and would like to sign off by expressing my sincere appreciation to the Board of Directors and staff of Napa Valley Community Foundation. 

Without their venturesome spirit and hard work--and the unstinting support of our amazing donors--we couldn't keep chugging down the highway as fast or effectively as we do.
With gratitude,
Terence P. Mulligan
Special thanks to my friend Jan Masaoka, from whom I borrowed the line about the 1-gallon gas tank.
Donor Perception Report 2016
To download the entire report, please click hereTo view an interactive online version of the report, please follow this linkLogin: Password: results! 

For a summary of several key findings, see below.
Summary of Key Findings on Napa Valley Community Foundation (NVCF)
In the graphics below, the orange bar tallies the responses of more than 6,000 donors at 65 community foundations in the U.S.  The white line in the middle is the donor-assigned rating (on a 7-point Likert scale) at the median community foundation in the data set.

Just below the orange bar, you'll see a line that represents a smaller subset of our community foundation peers.  This "custom cohort" is based partly on geography (San Francisco, Sonoma and Sacramento CFs are included, for example) and partly on scale (Boulder, CO and San Luis Obispo are roughly our size). The hash mark on that line is the donor-assigned rating (on a 7-point Likert scale) at the median community foundation in the custom cohort.
The trend data compares NVCF in 2016 to NVCF in 2009, the last time we engaged CEP to conduct this survey on our behalf.
"To what extent is the Foundation making an impact on the community?"
"Please rate your overall satisfaction with the Foundation."
"How responsive is the Foundation staff when you have a question or need assistance?"
Napa Valley Community Foundation