Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Kenneth E. Dickie

Second Advisor

Dr. Dave Cowden

Third Advisor

Dr. Peter Kobrak


This dissertation identifies a growth pattern for community foundations. The study is based on a comparative review of 89 community foundations selected on a stratified random sample basis from the membership of the Council on Foundations. Changes in the administrative , social, strategic, and technical systems were studied. Measurements were taken on 35 indicators and analyzed through descriptive and correlational statistics .

The findings of this study indicate that there is a pattern to the change in each of the administrative, social, strategic, and technical systems in the foundations studied. The pattern of change is correlated to the two independent variables of age and growth in assets of the community foundations. Of the two independent variables, asset level was found to be a more significant predictor of change than age.

The two independent variables, age and asset size, were also correlated as were age, asset size, and the size of the population of the community foundation's service area. Older foundations appear to be larger and serve large communities.

In addition, there are several core community foundation functions which are not affected by age or asset size. No change was found based on the independent variables studied in the basic types of funds managed by a community foundation, the number of times the board of trustees meet, and the number of times grants are made.

The dissertation presents a model of the characteristics of community foundations at different ages and asset sizes. This model is used to develop a self-assessment checklist which w ill be useful to current efforts to develop standards and certification criteria , to design technical assistance interventions, and to assist leaders in further understanding the similarities and differences between community foundations and other types of organizations.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access