Case Study:

Market Research, Strategic Plan, and Community Engagement



Our Role

  • Strategy Facilitation
  • Development of a Pre-Planning Market Research Brief to Highlight Changing Demographics and Emerging industry Trends
  • Coordination and Facilitation of Community Listening Sessions 
  • Development and Deployment of Surveys of Donors, Grantees, Attorneys, and Financial Advisors 
  • Development of goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics 


Over the past three-plus decades, Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has grown to $100 million in assets, distributing tens-of-millions of dollars annually to community-serving agencies across Bedford, Cambria, Indiana, and Somerset Counties. CFA needed a new strategic plan to continue its trajectory of success and impact while also planning for mission-based investments, organizational transition and succession, future staffing and board membership, infrastructure and technology, and marketing and branding. 


The Hill Group conducted secondary market research to understand the current and projected trends impacting the multi-county region served by the Foundation, including an assessment of how population loss, wealth transfer, and new post-pandemic realities could impact the Foundation and its constituents. The Hill Group also performed primary research, convening roundtables of donors, grantees, and leaders in each county, deploying online surveys to various stakeholders, and interviewing key supporters and influencers. Research and analysis was provided to Foundation board and staff members in advance of and to inform the strategy development process which was comprised of several facilitated planning retreats designed to envision the future and define and detail the critical steps to achieve it. 



Behind the Scenes

Community Foundation for the Alleghenies has the privilege of serving communities across four distinct and diverse counties in southwestern Pennsylvania.  Critical for its success and that of this strategic planning process was meaningful engagement of various constituents across and within each of the four countiesLong before formal long-term planning commenced, consultants and Foundation staff reviewed research on emerging population and social trends in each county and organized community listening sessions in each countyInput from research and these sessions was used in each planning conversation with Foundation staff and board members to ensure the final plan was responsive to the evolving and emerging needs of those served.