Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Community Foundations and Community Well-being


The study of philanthropy’s impact on society has garnered much attention over the past few decades, largely due to the increasing call for accountability in the form of program outcomes and community impact. In this article, we suggest that to effectively impact the well-being of a community, philanthropic organizations must first identify, prioritize and align the community’s needs in order to make sound decisions. The decision-making process within community foundations can be complex and driven by multiple stakeholders, multiple sources of information, internal policies, leadership and governance, organizational culture and other factors. This mixed methods study examines how community foundations make decisions about how they support their communities, particularly their funding decisions. It uses Sirgy’s framework (2018) to align their actions with community well-being indicators. The findings have important implications for the effectiveness of community foundations, and their desire, potential and ability to impact the well-being of their communities.

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Correspondence to Salvatore P. Alaimo.

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Alaimo, S.P., Carman, J.G. Decisions, Decisions, Decisions: Community Foundations and Community Well-being. Int. Journal of Com. WB (2021).

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  • Community foundations
  • Community well-being
  • Philanthropy
  • Community impact