Center for Community Foundation Excellence (CCFE)


Developed in conjunction with Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy, these courses help community foundation staff, board members and volunteers master the unique aspects of the community foundation field in short order. You'll learn about effective practices, get helpful tools and information and have the opportunity to network with others in the field. Comprehensive and engaging, these courses are an efficient and affordable way to increase your knowledge of the field. Courses are offered by the Council on Foundations and partnering regional associations.

All Center for Community Foundation Excellence courses are created and led by experienced community foundation practitioners and consultants. See Faculty Roster for a list. Below please find the course(s) currently being offered by the Council on Foundations. Visit Events Around the Field for course offerings by our partnering regional associations. 

CCFE Community Foundations Fundamentals Course

Designed to help staff and volunteers quickly comprehend organizational essentials this course is for community foundation staff in the early stages of their careers, as well as more experienced staff seeking a review. It is applicable to individuals from community foundations of all sizes and covers topics including:

  • history of the community foundation movement
  • basic information on governance, resource development and donor relations
  • key legal and legislative issues and information on grantmaking
  • community leadership and fiduciary responsibilities

Preview the detailed agenda.

CCFE Community Foundations Affiliates Course

Affiliates of communitity foundations come in many different forms, and the varied relationships can often raise a number of questions for staff and volunteers. This three-part course is designed to provide an overview of community foundation and affiliate law, and is applicable to individuals from community foundations of all sizes. Topics covered include:

  • the differentiation between an advisory group and a board
  • National Standards compliance
  • fundraising for the affiliate fund in cooperation with the host foundation
  • how to determine when a fund should become an independent 501(c)(3)


Note: The Course DVDs are FREE to Council Community Foundation Members as well as those participating in National Standards.

Questions? Contact

Regional Associations

If you are a regional association interested in providing one or more of the CCFE courses to your members, please contact to discuss a license arrangement.