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.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” Albert Einstein

Imagine this: a well-intended, charitably-inclined person of wealth creates a trust in the year 1514. This generous benefactor, deeply committed to an altruistic objective, funds the philanthropic cause without a sunset provision; thus, by default, potentially in perpetuity.

In this week's Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

  • Last Chance: Public Policy Preconference
  • Ways and Means Passes Charitable Tax Extenders
  • California Fundraising Law Advances
  • Online Guide to Missouri and Illinois Charities
  • Concern Over Future of New Markets Tax Credit
  • Revision on NTEE Classification System

Read all this and more, online now.

The following infographic was prepared by Mark Neithercut, of Neithercut Philanthropy Advisors. You can also see his earlier graphic, Six Misconceptions About Family Foundations.

In this week's Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

”The universe is made of stories, not of atoms,” said poet Muriel Rukeyser.

In this week's edition of Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

In this week's edition of Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

  • The IRA Charitable Rollover - Working Toward Permanence & Expansion
  • New Dates - "Tax Reform: Charting the Future of Philanthropy" Webinars
  • Happenings on the Hill
  • Philanthropy News and Op-Eds

Read it online now!

This guidebook, originally drafted in 2009 to summarize the redesigned Form 990 filing requirements applicable to community foundations, incorporates IRS updates through the 2013 Form 990. The Fiscal & Administrative Officers Group For Community Foundations’ Accounting Practices Committee has again worked with Deloitte Tax to incorporate the IRS changes to the 2013 Form 990 into this guidebook.

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