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 Washington Snapshot:

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development -

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

- Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies -

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

This member update focused principally on important issues related to foundation financial management and endowment performance.

Goal 15: Life on Land

- Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degredation and halt biodiversity loss -

Today, the United States became the first high-income nation to join Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ghana as pilot countries in the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The global SDG Philanthropy Platform, managed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Foundation Center, and UNDP, brings together foundations and philanthropists across the world to build partnerships between philanthropic organizations, the United Nations, governments, civil society, and business to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal 14: Life Below Water

- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources -

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 13: Climate Action

- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts -

Goal 13: Climate Action

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

- Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns -

Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

- Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable -

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities