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 issue:

  • Chairman Camp Releases Tax Reform Proposal
  • Philanthropy Week Update
  • Council Submits Comments on Proposed 501(c)(4) Regulations
  • President highlights foundations' investments in My Brother's Keeper initiative announcement
  • State Activity

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

  • Tax Policy Debate Heats Up
  • Philanthropy Week in Washington Final Preparations
  • Council Responds to Chairman Camp
  • Council to IRS: 501(c)(4) Rules Go Too Far
  • Twitter Chat on Friday, March 7, 12pm
  • Private Foundation Investment Study

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As President Obama presents his proposed budget and as Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, proposed policy changes could have a significant – and potentially harmful – impact on philanthropy’s effectiveness. That’s why the Council on Foundations is pleased to welcome nearly 150 leaders from throughout the philanthropic sector for the first annual Philanthropy Week in Washington March 3-7, 2014.

The Community Foundations of Canada’s Vital Signs is an annual community check-up, conducted by community foundations across Canada – and now around the world – that uses data to measure the vitality of our communities.

This afternoon Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI-4), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released a comprehensive plan to reform the individual and corporate tax codes. Find details of the proposed bill here:

Executive Summary

Summary of Bill

In this week's issue:

  • Senate Philanthropy Caucus Briefing During Philanthropy Week
  • Camp tax reform plan expected next week
  • More tax extenders buzz
  • Polarized views on IRS political activity rules
  • IRS 2013 Changes to Form 990-PF
  • State Activity

Read the full issue today!

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

  • Gearing Up for Philanthropy Week in Washington
  • Reminder: Call For Sessions
  • Video: Creating Effective Stories Lawmakers Will Remember
  • Community Foundations Use Information to Drive Impact
  • Deadline Extended: Field Comment on National Standards Revisions

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The Community Foundations National Standards Board (CFNSB) announces an extension to the public comment period for the Proposed Revised National Standards. These revisions are being made as part of a five-year review cycle and will remain open to public comment until February 26, 2014.

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