Community Advisory Committee Terms of Reference

For Good. Forever

The Community Advisory Committee serves as an advisory body to the Sunset Community Foundation, providing guidance, insights, and recommendations to the Board of Directors or Alternate and makes decisions as delegated. The committee’s primary objective is to ensure that the Foundation’s programs, initiatives, and grant-making activities align with community needs and priorities.

Membership & Meetings:

  • The Community Advisory Committee shall consist of a diverse group of community members, representing various sectors, interests, and demographics. Members shall be appointed through an open and transparent selection process, facilitated by the Foundation, ensuring inclusivity and broad community representation. The minimum number of committee members shall be five (5) to a maximum of eleven (11).
  • The Community Advisory Committee shall appoint a chair of the committee from their membership. A member of the Board of Directors of the Foundation shall be a member of the committee and act as an advocate and will liaise with the rest of the Board.
  • One member of the Community Advisory Committee shall sit on the Grants Committee.
  • One member of the Community Advisory Committee shall sit on the Relationship Development Committee.
  • A majority of Committee members present and voting constitutes a quorum. A simple majority of Committee members present at a meeting is sufficient to pass a resolution of the Committee.
  • The Community Advisory Committee shall meet every other month or more frequently as determined by the committee members. Meetings may be held in person or virtually, as determined by the Chair or agreed upon by the committee.
  • An agenda and meeting package are sent in advance of a Committee meeting.
  • Draft minutes are sent to Committee members after the meetings and are maintained according to the policies of the organization. A copy of the minutes shall be forwarded and made available to the Board of Directors.

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • The Community Advisory Committee shall:
  • Facilitate the granting process for their applicable funds or fund groups in accordance with the Foundation’s policies and procedures including:
  • Promote granting programs in the applicable communities and advise the Foundation’s central Grants Committee on applicable media interaction.
  • Review and evaluate local grant applications received by the Foundation, ensuring they meet the eligibility criteria and align with the Foundation’s mission, strategic priorities, and fund agreement commitments.
  • Assess the quality, feasibility, and potential impact of proposed projects or initiatives outlined in grant applications.
  • Conduct due diligence on organizations and projects to ensure credibility, financial soundness, and compliance with legal and ethical standards.
  • Liaise with fundholders of Donor Designated funds to ensure their input is considered in the grant application selection process ideally through an advocate on the committee.
  • Make recommendations to the Grants Committee and Board of Directors on the selection and allocation of grants, considering the available resources and the strategic goals of the Foundation.
  • Develop strong relationships with key stakeholders, including donors, partners, and community members including:
  • Implement programs for cultivating and stewarding relationships with donors, partners, and community members.
  • Identify and cultivate potential partnership opportunities with organizations, businesses, and individuals that align with the Foundation’s mission and values.
  • Identify and engage key community stakeholders, including influential leaders, volunteers, and advocates, to enhance the Foundation’s visibility and support.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of relationship development efforts, and recommend improvements and adjustments as needed to the Relationship Development Committee.
  • Provide input and advice to the Board of Directors on community needs, priorities, and emerging issues to inform the Foundation’s strategic planning and program development.
  • Review and evaluate the Foundation’s existing programs, initiatives, and grant-making activities in their communities, offering recommendations for improvement, expansion, or adjustment as needed.
  • Advise on the development and implementation of community engagement strategies in their communities, ensuring the active involvement and participation of their community members in the Foundation’s work.
  • Serve as ambassadors for the Foundation within their communities, promoting its mission, programs, and impact, and fostering partnerships and collaborations with other community organizations.
  • Act as a bridge between the Foundation and the communities, facilitating two-way communication, gathering community feedback, and providing insights into community perspectives and concerns.
  • Assist in identifying and cultivating potential donors, sponsors, and supporters from the community to enhance the Foundation’s financial sustainability and impact.
  • Collaborate with other committees, task forces, or working groups of the Foundation as needed to address specific community issues or initiatives.
  • Maintain confidentiality and handle sensitive information with utmost professionalism and integrity throughout their involvement with the foundation.


  • The Community Advisory Committee shall have access to all necessary resources and information required to fulfill its responsibilities, including Foundation reports, program information, and relevant data. The Foundation shall provide administrative support to facilitate the committee’s activities and meetings.

Work Plans and Reporting:

  • The Community Advisory Committee shall provide regular reports to the Board of Directors via the Board advocate, summarizing its activities, recommendations, and community perspectives. These reports shall be included in the Board’s meeting materials and communicated to the council members.
  • Annually the Community Advisory Committee creates its own work plan.