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 Council on Foundations announced today that Darcy Oman, President and CEO of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia, received the Distinguished Service Award. And, Shelley Trott, Director of Arts Strategy and Ventures for the Kenneth Rainin Foundation received the Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking for innovation and strategic vision in grantmaking.

In This Week at the Council you'll read about:

  • Activate in August
  • Preconference Programs at the 2014 Fall Conference
  • Military Families and Mental Health
  • New Donor Advised Fund Research

Read all this and more online today!

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

  • House Bill is a Big Win for Foundations
  • Community Foundations are "Coming Home"
  • Finalists Announced for 2014 Council Awards Program
  • Take Part in the #CF100 Video Contest
  • Philanthropy and Unaccompanied Children on the US Border
  • And More!

Read it all, available online!

This afternoon, the United States House of Representatives passed an important legislative package impacting philanthropy, the “America Gives More Act of 2014” (H.R. 4719), with a bipartisan super-majority vote of 277-130.

While a sizable number of Democrats voted against the bill because of concerns over how to pay for these provisions, they nonetheless expressed support for the policies advanced by the charitable provisions in the bill.

The Council on Foundations and CF Insights today released Guideposts for Growth and Aspirations,the field’s most comprehensive report on U.S. community foundation assets, gifts, and grants. The data were collected from 285 U.S. community foundations, including those representing more than 90 percent of total estimated community foundation assets in the United States.

When we face a new challenge, one of our first instincts is to reach out to someone for advice. By collaborating, sharing resources, and discussing common challenges, you and your peers multiply your impact and advance the common good.

The Council on Foundations' 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey is now closed. The 2014 Salary Tables will be published this fall and the full report will be released in early 2015.

The survey collects information on benefits policies and practices, as well as compensation data for 35 positions at community, corporate, private, public, and operating foundations. New to this year's report:

The Community Foundations National Standards Board has elected Randy Royster, President and CEO of the Albuquerque Community Foundation, as its new President. Royster will succeed Hugh Ralston in the leadership position. The Board oversees the management and administration of the National Standards for US Community Foundations™ (National Standards) program.

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