Community Foundation Boot Camp

Invest in yourself with a guide to everything your foundation does and can do in the community.

Community Foundation Boot Camp is a comprehensive overview of the structure and operations of a community foundation. Trainers work with local hosts, which include community foundations and philanthropy-supporting organizations, to deliver a 2-day, 12-hour workshop with robust curriculum. CF Boot Camp is also offered as an accelerated, 1-day course called CF Basics, and can be tailored for each audience.

No matter their role or tenure within the foundation, CF Boot Camp provides tactical information every staff and board member should know, covering the following topics.

  • Community Foundation Overview
  • Governance
  • Fund Management
  • Asset Development
  • Finance and Investments
  • Grantmaking & Community Leadership
  • Operational Sustainability
  • Community Foundation Lifecycles

Experienced Trainers

CF Boot Camp is conducted by a team of experienced trainers—all of whom have led successful community foundations. For more than 25 years, IPA has housed a dedicated program that offers technical assistance and training to over 70 community foundations in Indiana. IPA now brings this expertise to community foundations across the United States.


  • Full, 2-Day CF Boot Camp (12 hours, 3 trainers): $13,000 plus expenses
    This option is ideal for groups of foundations with at least 30 participants.
  • 1-Day CF Basics (6 hours, 1 trainer): $5,000 plus expenses
    This option is ideal for single foundations or small groups with under 30 participants.

Two-day and one-day trainings each cover the standard curriculum delivered by expert trainers, as well as resourse books for each attendee. IPA trainers are happy to work with hosts to customize program content for an additional fee. Each host is responsible for providing and managing their workshop's registrations and accommodations, including event promotion, venue, catering, and name tags. 

Become a CF Boot Camp Host

For information about bringing CF Boot Camp to your community, please contact Rosemary Dorsa at or call 317-630-5200 x114. We will work with you to develop a workshop best suited for your unique audience.


    Unit 1: Community Foundation Overview
    Definition, roles, history

    National Standards

    IRS Code and tax exempt orgs

    Key legal concepts Key legal documents  
    Unit 2: Fund Management
    Definition of component fund

    Types of funds

    Fund agreements

    Fund management issues Community project funds/fiscal sponsorship Donor relations re funds
    Variance power UPMIFA code Making changes to funds
    Unit 3: Governance
    Key legal concepts in governance

    Governance vs. management

    Unique challenges of CF boards

    Board leadership Board orientation and education Board member and exec roles
    Strategic planning Triple A board roles – ambassador, advocate, asker  
    Unit 4: Asset Development
    Types of gifts/planned gifts

    Asset building vs. fundraising

    Working with professional advisors

    Donor characteristics Donor stewardship and engagement Policies and planning
    Unit 5: Finance & Investments
    Understanding fiscal responsibility

    Investment/Finance/Audit  committee(s)

    Investment policy/spending policy

    Working with investment professionals Asset allocation UPMIFA
    Investment request-for-proposal Fund accounting Financial statements vs. audit
    Financial reports to board Operating budget Reporting
    Audit Tax compliance – Form 990

    Public support test

    Unit 6: Grantmaking & Community Leadership
    Grant guidelines and processes

    Responsive and strategic grantmaking

    Legal issues in grantmaking

    Expenditure responsibility Scholarship grants Types of community leadership
    Unit 7: Operational Sustainability
    Sustainable revenue sources

    Asset-expense mismatch

    Fund types as products

    Fee model of CFs Calculating your sustainability Developing a sustainability plan
    Ideas to improve sustainability    
    Unit 8: Community Foundation Lifecycles
    Major influences in the development of community foundations

    Growth cycles of community foundations

    Future challenges


    “I can now answer questions donors might have quickly, correctly, and with confidence.”

    Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana

    “A great opportunity to learn a variety of tried and true strategies from colleagues in the field.”

    Community Foundation of the Gunnison Valley, Colorado

    “Bootcamp should be a requirement for all foundation employees.”

    LaGrange County Community Foundation, Indiana

    Over 80% of my current board attended this training and they were so glad they did!”

    Benton Community Foundation, Indiana

    “I learned things I didn’t know about community foundations, but more importantly, I learned what we are doing well.”

    Community Foundation of Macon County, Illinois