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:

The Council submitted comments to the IRS on a proposed rule that outlined a handful of regulations for Type I and Type III supporting organizations. Introduced in February 2016, we identified two proposed regulations that are relevant for our sector:

Although the non-profit sector in America is well developed, I’ve often heard foundation and non-profit executives discuss the challenge of attracting and keeping high-performing staff and volunteers. So imagine how that problem is magnified in the developing world, where NGOs make a critical difference every day in the lives of children and families.

On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations.

The Council has been following this issue closely and is here to help you understand how the changes could impact you and your organization. A full analysis, including implementation options, for the final rule is available on our website. Just follow the link below.

On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations.

Key Provisions

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

As a Community Foundation, you are the expert on building endowments, but imagine what 10 nonprofit professionals or volunteers working on endowment growth could mean to you. If you want to multiply your efforts, partner with your nonprofits in being successful endowment builders.

The Council on Foundations wrote to the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)  to urge them to prioritize several regulations and guidance documents that impact our members. Each year, the Priority Guidance Plan identifies and prioritizes those tax issues that the agencies should address through regulations or revenue rulings, procedures, notices, and guidance throughout the upcoming year.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Corporate tax integration (“corporate integration”) is a tax reform topic that Senate Finance Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has been discussing for some time now. Chairman Hatch has indicated his intent to present a corporate integration proposal by the end of June 2016.