Community Foundations

Community foundations are grantmaking public charities that are dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. They bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities. Community foundations vary widely in asset size, ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $1.7 billion.

Community foundations play a key role in identifying and solving community problems. In 2011, they gave an estimated $4.3 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in fields that included the arts and education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief. The Community Foundations National Standards Board confirms operational excellence in six key areas—mission, structure, and governance; resource development; stewardship and accountability; grantmaking and community leadership; donor relations; and communications. Foundations that comply with these standards can display the official National Standards Seal. Right now nearly 500 community foundations have earned the seal.

More than 750 community foundations operate in urban and rural areas in every state in the United States; currently, more than 570 belong to the Council on Foundations. The community foundation model also has taken hold around the world. According to the 2010 Community Foundation Global Status Report, there are 1,680 community foundations in 51 countries. Forty-six percent exist outside of the United States. You can use our Community Foundation Locator to view a list of community foundations in the United States.

Below is everything on our site for community foundations. We highly recommend that you use the navigation or our search feature to find what you're looking for on our site.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Ways and Means Committee holds hearings, Senate gears up for tax reform
  • Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy named
  • Hearing on IRS reform scheduled for tomorrow
  • In the States: state budgets passing but on shaky footing; Mainers seek block grant transparency

Three years ago, I met Charles Story at the Grants Managers Network annual conference in San Diego. He was a featured panelist on a session about Extreme Management — successfully leading teams in constantly changing organizational environments. I was so impressed with his insights that we would start working together the following year, and I soon learned that Charles was also an executive coach with the Council’s Career Pathways (CP) Program. When I heard about the program’s goals and curriculum, I was completely sold, and could hardly wait for its reboot in 2017.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Health care legislation passed the House — so what now for tax reform?
  • Private foundation excise tax simplification bill introduced in House
  • House Set to Hold Hearings on Tax Reform and IRS Reform
  • FBI Director, Census Director Are Out
  • Oklahoma Advocacy Averts a Cap on Charitable Deductions

The 2016 Administrative and Program Expense Tables provide foundations with tools to benchmark their expenses – charitable administrative, program service, and qualifying distributions – against peers in the field. Containing data collected through the Council’s 2016 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey, this report offers detailed breakdowns of the data by grantmaker type, staff size, geographic location, and asset group (note – this report does not examine fees associated with fund administration at community foundations).

April came and went, and it packed a punch. 

I am grateful for the 200 community foundation (CF) leaders who joined over 1,000 philanthropic leaders in Dallas, Texas, for the 2017 Annual Conference. Please take a look at the highlight videos, which feature many examples of the type of thoughtful, engaged dialogue that is needed in today’s world.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • BREAKING: House holding Johnson Amendment hearing today, President Trump signs EO
  • Tax Reform Update: White House releases tax plan, Congress continues toward health care and tax reform bills
  • Congress averts a government shutdown
  • President Trump’s first 100 days in office
  • Treasury, IRS release notice to submit comments on priority guidance plan
  • Council heads to Dallas for Annual Conference

Today, the Council on Foundations, which represents nearly 1,000 philanthropic organizations, announced new leadership to its Board of Directors, as well as several new members.

Javier Alberto Soto, President and CEO of The Miami Foundation, has begun a two-year term as the Board’s Chair and Jamie Merisotis, President and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, as its Vice Chair. Javier succeeds Sherry Magill, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, who served as Board Chair since 2014.

Today, the Council on Foundations released the following statement from President and CEO Vikki Spruill:

“Today’s White House statement on its tax reform position clarifies the first step in what will be a long process towards meaningful tax reform. We are especially pleased to see the White House recognize the importance of the charitable deduction. We look forward to seeing even greater clarity from the White House in the coming months on its position.

The Council on Foundations opened its Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, this week with a special address from President George W. Bush. He talked about the current work of the George W.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations (COF) today announced the winners of the 2017 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.