Community Foundation Strategy: Doing Good and the Moderating Effects of Fear, Tradition, and Serendipity

Judy Millesen
Eric C. Martin


This research provides detailed descriptive information about decision-making behavior and process of community foundation boards. Our study responds to Graddy and Morgan’s (2006) call for research that examines how community foundation leadership (board and staff) affects strategic direction. We provide an understanding of how community foundation boards interpret organizational and environmental realities while balancing what has been described in the literature as “competing” mission-related objectives among donors, recipients, and the community. We find decision making to be influenced by three powerful forces; fear, tradition, and serendipity.