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.

‘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.

Speaker Highlights

Kate Ahern, Vice President of Social Innovation, Case Foundation

Your giving program looks like a convenient vehicle for fulfilling personal charitable pledges. Here’s what you need to know about when to say “no.”

In this issue:

  • Philanthropy Leaders Converge on D.C. for Philanthropy Week
  • President Obama Releases FY 2015 Budget
  • Chairman Camp's Tax Reform Bill
  • Lois Lerner Pleads the Fifth, Havoc Erupts
  • Social Impact Bonds Issue Briefs

Read this issue!

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

  • Philanthropy Week at the Council
  • Twitter Chat
  • Improving Social Impact Finance
  • Take Part in the Columbus Survey
  • Tweet of the Week

Find all of this and more in this weeks issue!

3 Ways to Bring Philanthropy Week to Your Community

Right now, over 200 leaders from across the philanthropic sector are uniting in Washington, D.C. to tell their lawmakers that thriving philanthropy builds thriving communities. As lawmakers contemplate comprehensive tax reform, individual changes to the tax code and the President’s FY2015 budget, we must ensure Washington understands that tax policy matters to philanthropy.

President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget yesterday, which sets forth the Administration’s spending and policy priorities for the coming year. The Budget presents a fiscal plan oriented around three White House priorities: accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and reducing deficits. To cover the cost of these proposals, the Administration seeks to close certain “tax loopholes” it views as providing particular benefit to the wealthy, such as the carried interest deduction.

Working in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, the Council co-hosted conversations among foundations, community development financial institutions, and investment firms about social impact bonds and Pay for Success. Out of these conversations, two issue briefs were created:

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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