Administrative fees charged for the management of donor funds continue to be the main driver of community foundation operating revenues. On average, Columbus Survey participants earn 70 percent of their operating revenues from these fees. There will, however, be differences in the extent to which community foundations of different sizes depend on different sources of revenue. For example, smaller community foundations may rely on direct fundraising and internal distributions to support operations to a greater degree than larger community foundations, who will see slightly more revenue come from alternative offerings, such as fee-for-service products.
Surplus revenues earned by a community foundation can help add the capacity and flexibility needed to pursue foundation-led community leadership efforts that will typically not cover their own costs.