Readiness Self-Assessment Tool

report-cover-cfi-assessmentYour community foundation is interested in providing more in-depth services to philanthropic families. But how do you know if family philanthropy services closely fit your current mission, market opportunities, capacity, and business model?

NCFP created the Family Philanthropy Readiness Self-Assessment in June 2017 to help community foundations assess their current level of readiness to undertake or expand services to multi-branch and/or multi-generational families. The online survey and resulting report help frame internal questions and decisions about offering family philanthropy services. There is currently no fee required to use the self-assessment tool, and no requirement to be a member of NCFP's Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network.

How does it work?

  1. Sign-up.  Assign one staff member to serve as NCFP’s main contact for the assessment process. That person will register with the online assessment tool, add the names and emails of staff members who will take the survey, and set a deadline for completing an online survey. We typically encourage the following people to participate: the CEO, all members of the development and philanthropic services staff, and other key operations, finance, grantmaking, and scholarship staff who currently or potentially could frequently interact with donors. We encourage a diverse set of perspectives.

  2. Take the survey. Each participant will receive an automated email with a customized link to the 30-question online survey. You can download an outline of the survey here. The survey takes 25-35 minutes and you can save and come back to it. As the deadline approaches, participants who have not yet completed the survey will receive a reminder to do so. When a participant finishes the survey, she will be able to download a report with her answers and initial feedback.

  3. Discuss your group report. Once all participants have completed the survey, or your deadline has been reached, the main contact at your foundation will receive a Group Report. This report will display the range of participants’ scores, average scores for the group, interpretations of the scores, and guidance on internal questions and next steps. It will also provide information on planning a portfolio of philanthropic services and lists of helpful resources. And, it will have an anonymous list of the individual scores and notes received from all participants.  

What are people saying?

Our Community Foundation found the NCFP self-assessment tool useful. The survey participants compared their responses and discussed the rationale for their answers.  After this exercise, we feel more confident that we are in alignment on our family philanthropy strategy.  We also discovered that we had neglected to keep some members of our stakeholders apprised of our initiatives.  Once briefed, they have contributed useful feedback.   

-- Susan Willey, Director of Planned Giving, Greater Cedar Rapids Community Foundation

How do we start?

Click on the REGISTER button below to start your foundation’s self-assessment process. If you have questions about the self-assessment process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

The Family Philanthropy Readiness Self-Assessment for community foundations was made possible by grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Lilly Endowment, Inc. and thoughtful guidance of members of NCFP’s Community Foundations Family Philanthropy Network and beta testers.