Online Community Instructions & Etiquette



  • How can I use Online Communities to connect with other CMF members?

    CMF's online communities offer a combined online forum and email system, giving you maximum flexibility to collaborate and learn from your peers within the CMF network.

    Communicate via CMF's website

    All online communities can be accessed from the Online Communities page or through your user profile. Click on an online community to view the topics, comments and when they were posted. If you'd like to join the discussion, click on the topic and add a comment and/or upload a document. Any comments made through the online communities on CMF's website are emailed to subscribers.

    Communicate via email

    Each online community has an email address that members of the group can use to communicate. Messages are sent to members who have opted to receive immediate email updates or emails grouped in a daily digest. All emails are also archived online and can be easily searched as topics and comments within each community's page.

  • How can I join an online community?

    To join a new online community, select a community from your profile page or visit the Online Communities page.

    — Click "subscribe" at the top of the online community's page.

    — Set your email preferences to receive immediate email updates, group all emails in a daily digest delivered to your inbox or opt out of email.

  • How do I post a new topic to my online community?

    Via email:

    Send a new email message to the email address listed below your online community's title. Each community has a unique email address (i.e. [email protected]). Type the topic in the subject line and fill the body of your email with any questions or comments you want to share with the group.

    Via the online forum:

    Visit your online community page and click the "Create a Discussion" tab at the top of the page. Add your topic and message. You may also upload documents. Submit.

  • How do I change my email settings?

    — Log in and go to your profile or to your online community. If you participate in more than one community, you may modify your email preferences for each group.

    — Select the online community and click the "Edit Email Preferences" tab at the top of the page.

    — Choose one of the following settings: 

    Immediate - Receive an instant email every time a new topic or comment is posted.

    Daily Digest - Receive all of the messages grouped together in one daily recap delivered to your inbox.

    No email - You may still be an active participant and opt out of email, however you will need to visit the online community's page to see newly added content.


  • Include a clear message in the subject line.
  • List your name, position and organization at the bottom of each message you post/send.
  • Out of consideration for your peers, do NOT reply to the entire group unless the information will benefit everyone in the group. 
  • When you pose a question to the group, remind peers to reply directly to you and not the entire list. You can then post all responses you receive.
  • Be sure that all information you post is approved for group consumption.
  • Do not send personal messages meant for one person to the entire group.
  • Messages are limited in size so consider using links instead of file attachments. Stationary and backgrounds will also increase the size of your messages and are not recommended for email messages sent to the community.


The following policies apply to discussions conducted online or via email:

Participation in CMF's online communities is limited to subscribers, who must be approved.

Information shared in the community should be considered confidential, unless otherwise stated. List members should not forward any part of online discussions to others without group approval.

No organization seeking funding from members will be discussed in relation to its grant proposals.


Opinions expressed on these communities are those of the writer, not the Council of Michigan Foundations. No material within the online community may be duplicated electronically or in print form, re-transmitted, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial ends. In consideration of their participation in this online community, any user who duplicates electronically or in printed form, re-transmits, redistributes or otherwise uses material on this listserv shall be solely responsible for any violations of copyright, proprietary or other personal right, including libel or slander, or any other personal injury. The user hereby agrees to indemnify and hold the Council of Michigan Foundations harmless from any loss or damage, including attorneys' fees, arising out of any claim or proceeding instituted on the grounds that any of the foregoing rights have been violated.

The Council of Michigan Foundations cautions participants in the online communities that private foundations are prohibited by law from lobbying, promoting a specific candidate or ballot measure or engaging in commercial activities. The Council shall not be responsible for any prohibited activity engaged in by participants of this listserv. The Council reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.