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.

Here’s proof you don’t need an endowment to have a significant and disruptive impact on your region’s philanthropic landscape.

You don’t need an excuse to tell a great story.

You simply need a great story.

And every community foundation has a great story to tell. Whether your foundation is large or tiny, or is located in a big city or a small town, it likely has a powerful story of how it is improving its community and enriching lives.

But if you are still looking for an excuse, here’s one: this year marks the 100th anniversary of community foundations.

Over the last two years, the City of Flint has been working on its first master plan since 1960. It serves as a blueprint for land use over the next 20 years.

The Greater Houston Community Foundation donor-centered focus helps philanthropists make a bigger impact

Lessons Learned

This blog was originally posted by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy. Visit their website for more information.

Does it seem to you that we are hearing more about wildfires?

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • August Recess
  • Council August Tool Kit
  • Dynamic Scoring Hearing
  • Eric Cantor Resigns
  • New Bills
  • Social Impact Bonds Senate Bill
  • Regulatory Updates
  • And more!

Read this issue today!

The Elkhart County Community Foundation's mission:
To improve the quality of life in Elkhart County by inspiring generosity.

I dare you to watch the video below and not smile.

It’s ok – I’ll wait the three and a half minutes it will take you to watch it. Just click “play” and I’ll pick up this post when you’re done.

So, was I right?

Not only did you smile, but I bet this wonderful kid – known online as Kid President – also gave you something to think about.

In this week's Washington Snapshot: 

“You can do a lot with $1.” A simple but powerful phrase at the heart of GiVE 365, the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis’ dollar-a-day giving circle. Formed in 2010, GiVE 365 unites and informs emerging philanthropists to make a collective impact on Greater Memphis. Members donate $365 a year, pool their money with others, and vote on both an annual grant making theme and grant recipients.

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