DEADLINE EXTENDED: Be Counted - CF Insights Columbus Survey

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Deadline Extended to March 19

Thank you to the hundreds of community foundations that have already submitted their financial data for the annual Columbus Survey! If you have not yet completed the survey, the deadline has been extended to Wednesday, March 19th. Be sure that your foundation is counted, and know that our team and your colleagues appreciate your time.

Make sure you're counted!

As part of our ongoing commitment to advancing place-based philanthropy, the Council on Foundations is proud to support CF Insights as they begin work on the 2013 Columbus Survey. The survey data is the most comprehensive picture of the grantmaking and financial performance of the community foundation field available. This annual census of grantmakers helps you gain new knowledge about the practices and performance of your peers. The findings also allow the Council and national media to tell the story of community foundation impact.

Your participation is critical for success!

CF Insights manages the Columbus Survey, which tracks changes in community foundation assets, gifts, grantmaking, and operating budgets. We compare performance and spot trends each year through the timely collection of relevant trend data.

Benefits of Survey Participation

In Q2, look for detailed trend analysis and annual rankings.

  • At CF Insights, you will have on-demand access to longitudinal reports after completing the survey.
  • You will have a chance to be included in one or more ‘Top 100’ lists that track assets, gifts per capita, and grantmaking activity.
  • You will contribute to the collective story of U.S. community foundations’ growth and grantmaking.

Annual Data Collection

Please contribute your 2013 FYE data to the CF Insights database as soon as possible! The deadline is Wednesday, March 19th.

How to login to the Columbus Survey:

  • Login here or access it from CF Insights’ website
  • Enter your email address
  • Enter your password (If you participated in last year's survey, then please use that password)
  • If you require a login, contact Caitlin Darisse by email or at (617) 502-6169

Please Respond by Wednesday, March 19th

Use of Unaudited Financials:
We realize that some foundations will not have official year end financials completed at this time. Since CF Insights is focused on providing timely information to the field, your community foundation colleagues have suggested entering unaudited financials for FY 2013 if your Form 990 has not yet been completed.

Watch our short Benchmarking Tool instructional video before getting started!

You'll need access to your accounting system while answering the survey. When taking this survey, keep the following in mind:

  • Answer asset, gift, and grant numbers as if you were preparing your 990
  • Note: if you have any supporting organizations, we ask you enter the same information in separate lines
  • Assets per audit is collected to eliminate inter-entity transactions
  • When reporting core operating budget, include all administrative expenses for the foundation (this does not include any grant dollars; there are separate lines for personnel and non-personnel expenses). Special initiative expenses can be separated out.
  • For online help or definitions of terms, click on the blue "?" icon next to the word.

If you have any questions about the Council's participation in this survey, contact Tonia Bain, Program Associate for Leadership Education and Evaluation, by email at or at (703) 879-0767.