CFGNB—A Name You Can Trust

A Recent Donor Perception Report Reveals that Donors Find CFGNB to Be Extremely Trustworthy and Professional, but Feel the Foundation would Benefit from Increased Visibility

The Center for Effective Philanthropy, a nationally-recognized research and assessment organization based in Cambridge, MA has conducted a confidential survey of local donors for the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain. The survey, covering several aspects of the relationship between CFGNB and its donors, was made possible by a grant from the Gates Foundation. Called a Donor Perception Report, the research is designed to provide statistically-accurate feedback from donors which help foundations:

  • Understand what donors’ value and which donor services/ programs are most relevant and effective
  • Provide a valuable perspective on the aspects of a foundation that most distinguish its work from other charitable giving options
  • Identify patterns or trends in the philanthropic giving of their donors

The DPR was conducted among Berlin, Plainville, New Britain and Southington donors during September and October of 2011, both electronically and via mail. To date, more than 25 Donor Perception Reports have been conducted for community foundations around the country, with CFGNB being among the smallest. The DPR compares CFGNB’s results against the median findings of all participant community foundations.

When asked to provide words to describe CFGNB, donors most often used “Professional”, “Engaged”, “Responsive” and “Trustworthy”.



When deciding to give to the Foundation over other charitable options, CFGNB donors report that CFGNB’s “trustworthiness and integrity” is the most important factor with nearly 90 percent of donors pleased with this aspect of the Foundation.

 “The Foundation has earned my trust through the results that it has achieved and has inspired my personal effort to be involved in the local community.”

Among its highest ratings was the quality of the Foundation’s professional staff - with 92 percent of CFGNB donors – a larger than typical proportion – satisfied with their interactions with the Foundation’s paid staff.

Donors also rate CFGNB’s leadership in the community similarly to how the typical community foundation is rated in the DPR, and indicate there may be opportunities to more consistently enhance its visibility and better demonstrate its priorities.

As one donor put it, “I work with a program that serves New Britain, Southington, Plainville and Berlin. The Foundation has transformed these communities in so many ways.” While another states, “I believe that the CFGNB has made an impact on certain portions of the community, but still remains largely unknown.”

Overall, donors rate the resources CFGNB provides them to achieve their charitable giving goals as more helpful than the typical community foundation – particularly information on nonprofits provided by or through the Foundation. However, 43 percent of CFGNB donors – a much larger than typical proportion – admit they don’t use this help for the achievement of their charitable giving goals.

As well, a larger than typical proportion of donors indicates they would like the Foundation to be a partner for advice in their future charitable giving. When asked to choose two top reasons for giving to CFGNB, donors most frequently stated “giving back to the community” and “memorializing a loved one”.

While there were individual comments about funds and needs within the community as well as variations of perceptions of CFGNB based on the type of fund a donor gives to, some overall themes emerged:

  • The CFGNB is felt to be trustworthy
  • CFGNB staff is considered professional and effective
  • CFGNB would benefit from increased visibility
  • CFGNB donors wish to enhance their “partnership in giving” relationship with the Foundation
  • CFGNB donor education materials and events are valued even though donors may not always utilize those sources
  • Increased communication from CFGNB directly to donors would be welcome

“I’m definitely pleased with the survey’s results. We finished at or above the Median in almost every category, so we have a lot of positives to build from,” said Jim Williamson, CFGNB President. “The more our donors see and hear from us, the more they value the help we can give them in converting their charitable inclinations into meaningful action. It also challenges us to move more aggressively from just being a funder of good causes in our communities to becoming a more visible leader on key local & regional issues. This encouragement aligns totally with our new 2011-2014 Strategic Plan, and could not come at a better time.”

Thank you to all the donors who took the time to let us know “how we’re doing,” and we want all our donors, volunteers and partners to know that your input and feedback is always welcome and considered extremely valuable.

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