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Affinity Group Policy

Publication date: 
April, 2013

We are developing a formal policy for providing support to affinity groups within our region. Would you please share your policies and/or guidelines for affinity groups? We are especially interested in pricing or information on how/if you receive funding to provide this support.

~Helen Ishee, Southeastern Council of Foundations


Baltimore Area Grantmakers

We reviewed and revised our policy last year (attached) after review several other RA’s guidelines. I’ve also attached the planning form each group submits annually. Please let me know if you have questions and I look forward to seeing the results.


North Carolina Network of Grantmakers

Attached is out networking group policy.


Conference of Southwest Foundations

While we do not have a policy, we have recently submitted a proposal to an Environmental Affinity group in Texas. Please see the attached. This is our first foray into a formal agreement with an affinity group and it has not yet been accepted, so consider it a pilot. This group in particular has long stood on its own, but has had some changes in its volunteer leadership and is considering CSF as an option for continuing to serve the environment grantmakers of Texas. We’d love to know what you learn from the other RA’s.


Council of Michigan Foundations

In Michigan our affinity groups (Land Use, Aging, Arts, Education, Women & Girls) are staffed through CMF by me, the Policy Fellow. When we develop programs that include national speakers or other costs, we usually have a member or few members cover the cost. Different groups in the past have talked about pooled funding reserved for speakers, but it just seems to work out better when an individual foundation can pay for a speaker directly, with the idea that they usually get some extra time with that speaker for a private meeting. We have done some collaboration with the national affinity groups in those areas, but not more than a few individual events. If we don’t incur a cost beyond staff time for planning and coordinating an event, we typically do not charge our members for the events.

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