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.

This sample Commuity Foundation Week Op-Ed may be customized and submitted to the Op-Ed section of your local newspaper.

The 2014 Community Foundation Week Press Release will provide you with a sample that you can customize to your community foundation's efforts, and place in your local newspaper.

Beyond Grantmaking:
Reimagining the Potential of the Community Foundation in Its Second Century

Ambassador James A. Joseph
2014 Council on Foundations Fall Conference for Community Foundations
Cleveland, Ohio
October 20, 2014

HUD No. 14-128
Brian Sullivan
202-708-0685


William S. White with Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill after accepting his honor.

The Centennial – A Year of Action In Support of Community Philanthropy

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