Online Community Instructions & Etiquette



  • How can I communicate with other 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 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. 

    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.

  • How can I join an online community?

    If you were a member of a CMF listserv you have been automatically switched over to our online community platform. Feel free to join more online communities or change your preferences at any time.

    If you want to join a new online community you can do so by selecting a community from your profile page or visiting 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, this is the community's unique email address (for example:
    • 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 the online community's page, click on the "create a discussion" tab at the top of the page. Add your topic and message, you may also upload documents if you wish.
  • 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 "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- with our online community platform you may still be an active participant and opt out of email. Just remember to visit your online community's page to keep tabs on what's going on so you don't miss out!

    Also as a friendly reminder- Please do not send personal messages meant for one person in the group to the entire group. This might also include short pats on the back or other friendly remarks; while we encourage you to support your peers, please send these remarks directly to the recipient and not across the community. This helps keep the archive and conversation clean and easy to follow.


Do not post online or transmit anything in an e-mail message that you would not be comfortable writing in a letter or memo. Keep your messages short and focused.

As a courtesy, ask for permission from the source to quote anything written in the online communities.

For ease of communication, properly title your messages in the subject line and please list your name, position and organization at the bottom of each message you post.

Out of consideration for your peers, please do NOT reply to the entire group unless you think it will benefit everyone in the group. Do not send personal messages meant for one person in the group to the entire group. This might also include short pats on the back or other friendly remarks; while we encourage you to support your peers, please send these remarks directly to the recipient and not across the community. This keeps the archive and conversation clean and easy to follow.

When you ask a question to the group, consider asking people to reply directly to you and not the entire list. You can then post the response instead of everyone on the list receiving 30 messages.

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 his or her participation in this online community, any user who duplicates electronically or in printed form, re-transmits, redistributes or otherwise uses material on this listserve 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 listserve. The Council reserves the right to terminate access to any user who does not abide by these guidelines.