CFLeads: Community Foundations Leading Change


Learning Opportunities

Cultivating Community Engagement Project

Goal Statement of the
Cultivating Community
Engagement Panel

Download: The Balancing Act: The Role of a Community Foundation as a Community Leader

The Project
The Cultivating Community Engagement Project was launched to uncover, document and promote practices among community foundations and other community philanthropy that support stronger resident engagement in shaping the community’s future.

The Panel
The Cultivating Community Engagement (CCE) Panel, made up of 34 philanthropic leaders, researchers, government officials, and people who have worked closely with residents in a variety of ways, deliberated over the course of nearly a year and issued a Call to Action for more resident engagement by community foundations and made recommendations for important changes in community foundation practice.
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Group photo

Seated, from left to right:

Kathleen Annette, President & CEO
Blandin Foundation

Sandra Vargas, President & CEO
The Minneapolis Foundation

Grace Cainoy Weltman
Executive Director & Co-Founder
Institute for Community Expansion

Nancy Van Milligen, President & CEO
Community Foundation of Greater Dubuque

Steve Clift, Executive Director

Deborah Ellwood, Executive Director
(Resource Team)

John McKnight, Professor of Education and Social Policy
Co-Director, Asset-Based Community Development Institute
Institute for Policy Research
Northwestern University


Standing, middle row:

Ivye Allen, President
Foundation for the Mid-South

Carleen Rhodes, President & CEO
The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation

Lucy Bernholz, Managing Partner, Arabella Advisors
Visiting Scholar and Practitioner, Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society
Stanford University

Clotilde Dedecker, President & CEO (Panel Chair)
Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo

Gloria Rubio-Cortes, President
National Civic League

Lauren Casteel, Vice President, Philanthropic Partnerships
The Denver Foundation

Ian Bautista, President
United Neighborhood Centers of America

Janis Foster Richardson, Executive Director
Grassroots Grantmakers

Paula Ellis, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Roque Barros, Interim President
Jacobs Family Foundation

Carolyne Abdullah, Director of Community Assistance
Everyday Democracy

Alandra Washington
Deputy Director
W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Back row:

Michael M. Howe
Howe & Associates
(Resource Team)

Peter Pennekamp, Executive Director
Humboldt Area Foundation

Mike Huggins, Retired City Manager
Eau Claire, WI

Garland Yates, Interim Executive Director
Neighborhood Funders Group

Stuart Comstock-Gay, President & CEO
Vermont Community Foundation

Jeffrey Yost, President & CEO
Nebraska Community Foundation

Linda Nguyen
Director, Civic Engagement
Alliance for Children and Families

Matt Leighninger, Executive Director
Deliberative Democracy Consortium

Peter Peterson, Executive Director
Davenport Institute, Pepperdine University

Joseph Hoereth, Director
Institute for Policy and Civic Engagement (IPCE)
College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs
University of Illinois at Chicago

Christopher Gates, Executive Director
PACE - Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement


Not pictured:

Derek Barker, Program Officer
Kettering Foundation

Dudley Cocke, Director
Roadside Theater

Nick Deychakiwsky, Program Officer
Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

Antonia Hernández, President & CEO
California Community Foundation

Darryl Lester, Founding Partner
Community Investment Network

Kelly Ryan Lucas, President & CEO
Incourage Community Foundation


Stay tuned!

Thanks to the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation for their generous support of this groundbreaking work.

For more information, contact Caroline Merenda, CFLeads Program Director, at or 800.292.6149 ext. 610.