Center for Communities

Portland Leadership Foundation’s Center for Communities grows the impact of the non-profit sector through capacity building, idea incubation, and new initiatives critical for underrepresented communities. Focused on leveraging the unique strengths of our clients, our team of professional consultants craft a tailor-made strategy for each organization we serve and idea we launch. We are relational, we are strategic, and we are focused on improving outcomes as we seek the peace of the city.

What is CFC?

Each non-profit seeking to engage our capacity building initiative will take a pre-assessment. Depending on how our team assesses the targeted areas of improvement for an organization, we recruit specialized consultants to help the non-profit organizations develop in a minimum of two of the following areas:

  • Mission, Vision, and Values
  • Program Capacity
  • Fundraising Development
  • Board Recruitment and Development
  • Program Outcome Measurement
  • Marketing
  • Strategic Planning
  • Creative Partnership Development

Memorandum of Understanding

Upon acceptance into the program, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is developed between the Center for Communities, the team of consultants, and the selected non-profit to clearly outline the expectations of engagement. Portland Leadership Foundation awards capacity-building grants to nonprofit organizations that exceed expectations, display innovated approaches, and demonstrate leadership in the social sector.


The capacity building process

Step One:
Relationship Building and Assessment

We believe relationships are the foundation on which any consulting work begins to take root. All capacity building projects start with these five steps:

  • Submission of application to Center for Communities
  • Client organization completes preliminary assessment
  • Interviews with Board Member, Executive Director, and Staff Person
  • Consultant team completes Consensus Report
  • CFC staff completes Organizational Executive Summary

Step Two:
Consulting and Collaboration

Upon completing the first assessment phase, a team of consultants are matched to tailor-make a capacity building strategy for the client organization.

  • Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Signed
  • Executive Director Coaching
  • Large Group Training
  • Small Group Think Tank
  • Individual Development Plan

Step Three:

The Center for Communities’ process is designed to measure the differential between the beginning and end of our capacity building work.

  • Goals set in MOU and Individual Development Plan
  • Regular reporting on predetermined desired outcomes
  • Completion of final assessment
  • Final Consensus Meeting
  • Score Determined
  • Growth

The Idea Incubation Process

PLF is always open to consider incubating new ideas or initiatives that serve Portland’s historically marginalized communities. We utilize a simple but effective process—but we don’t do anything alone. We welcome any brothers and sisters who have an idea they would like to share to meet with our team. For a cup of coffee, email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PLF’s incubation process includes

  1. Dreaming together in agitation
  2. Writing it down (Developing a concept paper
  3. Validation phase (Meeting with key Portland leadership to share idea
  4. Public “quiet phase” (Partnership finalization)
  5. Public launch

Recent Work

  • Compassion Connect
    "Working with PLF has been transformational for our organization. Two major factors helped facilitate that transformation: the skill possessed by the team at PLF and the gracious and compassionate heart of their team. We were stretched by their skill but stretched in such a way that we knew they cared about us and they wanted to see our success as much as their own. We will never be the same since crossing paths with and building relationship with PLF. "
    - Milan Homola | Co-Founder & Executive Director Compassion Connect INC.
  • Portland Youth Football and Cheer
    “Portland Youth Football and Cheer would not exist if it weren’t for the President and his team at PLF. PYFC wouldn’t exist if PLF hadn’t given so much energy to making sure kids in the city were going to have a place to play football.”
    - E-board, Portland Youth Football and Cheer.
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