In 2006, the board of the Council on Foundations asked staff to take a fresh look at how we do our survey research work. One of the results of this review was a decision to move our benchmarking surveys to an online (web) platform. This decision was made to reduce the time needed to enter and analyze information and to allow online survey participants to do their own benchmarking.
After a review of several options, we found that Peerfocus—a service selected several years ago by the private Foundation Financial Officers Group (FFOG) for their proprietary surveys—offers the best set of user options at the lowest cost. Among other features, this powerful tool will enable survey participants to benchmark themselves against their peers, by grantmaker type, asset size, state or region, or other breakdowns of utility to foundations in understanding the practices within the foundation world.
In January 2007, we launched our first survey using Peerfocus—the Foundation Governance Survey. As of June 5, 2008, the 2008 Salary Survey is available for completion online. Online respondents can subsequently benchmark themselves against the richest source of staff compensation data in the field—information on the salaries of 51 percent of all full-time U.S. foundation staff.
For all Council surveys, respondents will still be able to complete surveys in paper, should they choose. However, only online survey participants, whether they are Council members or not, will be given access to the benchmarking tool.
Please note that beginning in 2007, the names of respondent organizations will no longer be held in confidence, but will be publicly available both in published reports and online. However, as in the past, all confidential survey data will continue to be displayed only in the aggregate.
The Council is seeking funds to cover one-time start-up costs for the Peerfocus service. Selected Council members may be receiving a grant request. Please contact Judith Kroll, the Council’s director of research, if you would like to see the proposal. She can be reached at 703/879-0697 or email@example.com.