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.

At the Council on Foundations Annual Conference in Washington, D.C., some funders were expressing a move toward a new way of doing business with their grantees. Accountability has long been a theme in grantmaking. It has traditionally been top-down – foundations being held accountable to the people whose money they are spending and grantees being held accountable to the foundations.

In this week's issue of Washington Snapshot, you'll read about:

  • Community Foundation Survey
  • Implications of Cantor Loss
  • Impact of McCutcheon on Grantmaking
  • Future Challenges and Opportunities for Community Foundations
  • 2014 Annual Conference - Recap!
  • Announcing New Board Members and Chair

Read all this and more online!

 

As a foundation whose roots trace back more than 80 years, reflection on the past is a key part of our process for moving forward. Are we staying true to the values and the intent of our late founder, Will Keith Kellogg, as we steward the resources he left to improve the lives of children and families? And can we employ new approaches to using those resources to maximize our impact on those he cared about most?

The following piece originally appeared on Forbes.com. It is written by Brad Phillips of the Institute for Evidence Based Change, a Lumina Foundation grantee.

The largest influx of veterans since the end of World War II will return to the workforce and college in the next several years. The surge is the result of military downsizing following wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and steep cuts to the Pentagon’s budget. As the nation heads into the Memorial Day weekend and seeks lasting ways to honor military service, we have some suggestions.

During the 2014 Annual Conference - Philanthropy Exchange - we will be posting blogs written by speakers and attendees. If you are interested in blogging with the Council, contact john.cochrane@cof.org.

In this issue of Washington Snapshot:

I love my city of Chicago. One of my prouder moments occurred in 2010 which, to me, witnessed the manifestation of about ten years of outreach, communication, and deepening mutual respect across normative borders. It came out of years of interfaith dialogue and growing friendships.

At the end of that summer, I arrived home from my studies in Amman, Jordan to a welcome of something called “Quran Burning Day” as promulgated by some obscure preacher in Florida named Terry Jones.

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 includes the first comprehensive regulation of donor advised funds. These requirements generally took effect at the beginning of the tax year following enactment of the Act, for charities that hold assets in such funds. However, a provision barring the payment from donor advised funds of grants, compensation and similar payments to donors, advisors, and persons related to them took effect immediately on August 17, 2006.

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