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.

Kids on laptops

Minding the Gaps: Jobs, Income & Wealth


The East Bay Community Foundation has kept the Council abreast of the latest in regards to the recent tragedy in Oakland. Included in their response is a strategic move to address the safety and affordability of spaces for the artist community in Oakland.

HR & Trendspotting: Parental Leave, The Hunt for Talent, Driving Human Capital with Data, and Integrated Performance Management.

In 2017, HR is expected to adapt to keep up with the changing business environment and evolving employee expectations.


2017 Council Awards Program

The Council is now accepting nominations for:

Refining the Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the Philanthropic Sector

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Preconference Session IconThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

Pepper the robot.

Pepper is a robot companion from the Japanese company SoftBank.


On December 1, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) released their fourth mutual evaluation of the United States anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework.* The report analyzes the United States’ level of compliance with

My great aunt, Georgeanna Gibbs Browne, born in 1876 in Philadelphia, was a victim of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Her upbringing was church-going and “upper crust.” Newspaper clippings describe her twirling across dance floors at summer soirees and charity balls.

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened

How did we get it so wrong? (Photo Credit: Marco Verch / CC-BY-SA-4.0)