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.

Join us for a webinar sponsored by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University to learn more about access to care for military veterans and their families. This webinar will explore the scientific realities behind an important policy issue. Specific topics will include the barriers to care, access to care, the behavioral health work force, and family focused systems of care. The goal of this webinar is not to make specific policy recommendations but rather to increase the impact of science in policy. 

In anticipation of important upcoming regulatory developments that will impact your global grantmaking, the Council is pleased to host the first in a series of conversations about cross-border philanthropy.

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Humble. If there were one word that ought to drive philanthropists, that’s it. I am not saying it is always a word that does drive us. I am saying it ought to be. 

It can be exciting and fulfilling to work in the world of philanthropy, to collaborate and work with generous people, smart and committed community leaders, and visionaries — to feel that your effort makes a positive difference in the world.

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Emily Kessler, the interim director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. In this interview, Emily shares how she got her start in philanthropy and what she is hoping to do to help emerging professionals and increase the value of an EPIP membership.

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A well-trained staff and a well-informed board are crucial to community foundation success in a fast-changing world. This two-day course helps new and experienced foundation stakeholders build essential skills they need. Created and led by experienced leaders, this course includes:

  • Updates on key legal and legislative issues;
  • Information on grantmaking;
  • Review of community leadership and fiduciary responsibilities.

$595.00 Member/$809.00 Nonmember

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