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.

Audits are everywhere these days. Consider:

Community foundations that award scholarships and other grants to individuals from funds with donor involvement should be sure these funds comply with the requirements of the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

We urge community foundations to review this resource in conjunction with our sample board resolution.

WHEREAS, The XYZ Community Foundation (the “Community Foundation”) has funds that were established for the purpose of providing scholarships and other charitable awards to individuals; and

WHEREAS, federal legislation enacted in August 2006 amends certain provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), prohibiting donor advised funds, as defined in Code Section 4966 (“Section 4966 Donor Advised Funds”), from making grants to individuals; and

Discussion makes a community. Community builds knowledge, interest and camaraderie. The Council on Foundations hosts 17 electronic discussion lists for its members as a way to encourage discussion and share information.

What is an electronic discussion list?

An electronic discussion list is a subscription-based e-mail group. It provides a forum in which people with common interests may discuss topics related to the list, and it’s a great way to share information between colleagues.

What lists are currently available?

This new media marketing portfolio provides community foundations with resources they can use to call attention to the good work you do every day in your home community. Take advantage of these tools and messages to communicate your organization’s unique role and place among residents, donors and leaders. The portfolio includes

The report explores the ways in which infrastructure organizations think about the value and the mechanics of collaboration—the drivers and barriers to collaborative work—and to determine ways to encourage more effective partnerships. The publication features a framework for understanding different types of collaboration, a set of recommendations for better collaboration, and a series of case studies that show a range of partnerships that tease out the potential benefits and challenges of various kinds of collaboration.

Closing a nonprofit charitable institution presents a range of unknowns to the grantmaking community. In this analysis, authors John Dickason and Duncan Neuhauser provide guidance to foundations considering whether to create a time-limited foundation or bring a foundation to an end. Topics include managing finances, grants, human and physical resources, archives, history and records.

Understanding the challenges of currency fluctuations on international grantmaking, and taking action to minimize their impact can ensure that this natural process does not become an added barrier to overseas giving. This resource focuses on some of the challenges foundations and giving programs and their grantees face as a result of fluctuating currency exchange rates, and highlights various ways that U.S. grantmakers are dealing with them in their international grantmaking activities.

Members can now access the following salary tables with data from the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey. 

The Council on Foundations’ Foundation Management Series provides foundation boards and staff with the tools needed to benchmark their practices and operations against peers in the field. Containing data from the Council’s 2009 Foundation Management survey, the series consists of three reports: Board Composition and Compensation, Administrative and Investment Expenses, and Fiscal Oversight.

The board compensation and administrative expenses tables are available for free to members:

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Community Foundations