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:

  • 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 

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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

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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.

Announcing the Leading Forward Webinar Series

In this week's snapshot, you'll read about:

  • Camp Bill Sets Critical Precedents
  • 501(c)(4) Rules Elicit Strong Public Response
  • Philanthropy Week in Washington Recap
  • Other News in Philanthropy

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

  • New Speakers Announced for Philanthropy Exchange
  • Aligning Social Action, Lessons from the Ozarks
  • Interested in Applying to the Social Impact Fund?
  • Columbus Survey Deadline Extended
  • Growth in Nonprofit Job Market
  • Tweet of the Week

Find all of this and more in this week's issue!

Communities across the country are experiencing rapid demographic shifts, and foundations that use  place-based giving strategies must adapt their grantmaking to recognize these changes. Leaders across various foundation types will discuss the definition of place-based philanthropy, its challenges and advantages, and the approaches that have worked.

‘Big Data’ is a hot topic in philanthropy. But what does it actually represent, and how can foundations be most effective in using this data to help inform and advance their work? The first installment of our Leading Forward webinar series will highlight different ways foundations are using Big Data, and how Big Data is being used more broadly to provide insights into the state of the philanthropic field.

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