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.

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

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations:

On behalf of the Council on Foundations, I would like to thank Chairman Camp for his decades of public service to the people of Michigan and to the U.S. House of Representatives. We wish him the very best in months and years ahead. We are pleased that Chairman Camp is devoting his final months in office to fine-tuning his comprehensive tax reform proposal.

Do you know more about apps for your phone than apps for your browser? Many are unaware that apps and other add-ons are available for their browsers, are often free, and can provide unique tools to make their online experience better. So if you are a busy philanthropic professional, what apps might you want to try?

Board of Directors Official Notice

The Council on Foundations Governance Committee has nominated the following individuals to serve on the Council’s Board of Directors:

Class of 2017

In this weeks issue:

  • WINGSForum 2014
  • The Council and Commonfund Study Private Foundation Investments
  • Don't Miss Out on Philanthropy Exchange
  • President Obama Announces Climate Data Initiative
  • Tweet of the Week

And more! Read the full issue now.

In this issue:

  • Council Releases Summary of Camp Bill
  • Federal Tax Policy News
  • Treasury Solicits Input on 2014-15 Priority Guidance Plan
  • IRS TE/GE Reorganization 
  • Other Happenings on the Hill
  • State Issues 

Read this issue.

In this week's edition of Washington Snapshot:
  • Council to Senate: Preserve & Expand IRA Rollover
  • More on the Tax Reform Act of 2014
  • Property Tax Proposal in Connecticut
  • California Senate Votes "No" on Political Activity Bill
  • New Papers on the Future of State Charities Regulation
  • Philanthropy Op-Ed

Register Today

Are you new to philanthropy and unsure about the due diligence process for making a successful grant? Have you been in the field for several years, but are still unclear on the legal aspects of grantmaking or how to spot red flags in grantee financial statements? If you answered "yes" to any of the above, please consider joining us for NCG's 2014 New Grantmakers Institute.

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