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. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

The idea of coordinated giving days is gaining momentum. These social media campaigns provide an image-building opportunity for community foundations as well as opportunities to build the capacity of our grantees to raise money for themselves. Rather than providing technical assistance, project management, and marketing services, the best investment community foundations can make, consistent with their convening role in the community, is to build the incentive pool for the giving day. Here is why:

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Thousands of children are making the dangerous journey north from Central America and Mexico alone. The number of unaccompanied immigrant children migrating to the United States has increased, and experts anticipate 80,000 to 120,000 new arrivals in 2014.

Urban Institute Survey on DAFs: What We Learned and Why It Matters

Thursday, August 21, 2014
12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. ET

REGISTER HERE

Join us for a webinar as we announce the preliminary results of the recent Urban Institute survey on donor advised funds. This webinar will begin the conversation on the survey results, but you will have other opportunities to learn about this research.

Online giving days are generating huge interest among community foundations.

Giving online is increasing in double digit percentages year over year, yet in our community, many of the nonprofits we serve have barely have a website let alone a “Donate Now” button. As a result, we thought it was important for us to help our nonprofits become familiar with raising money online.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Council to Senators - Vote "Yes" on H.R. 4719;
  • Activate in August";
  • Just Announced: "Activate in August" Conference Call;
  • Urban Institute DAF Survey Results Webinar;
  • NASCO Conference on October 6th;
  • Rocky Mountain Tax Seminar: September 17th-19th; 

Read all this and more, online now!

Here’s proof you don’t need an endowment to have a significant and disruptive impact on your region’s philanthropic landscape.

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