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.

Every five years, the community foundation field selects representatives to review the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™.  2015 marks the tenth anniversary of the first community foundations receiving their accreditation; therefore the National Standards Action Team, the Community Foundation National Standards Board, and the Council on Foundations took this moment to reflect on ensuring the National Standards reflect effective and legal practices of the field as well as provide a streamlined submission process.

The Council on Foundations is proud to release two new resources:

The 2014 Grantmakers Salary Tables is one of the best sources of data on staff compensation at U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs.

Youth and young adults are engaging with each other and their communities in many different and new ways that affect their philanthropic activities. Both formal and informal structures to support youth and young adult philanthropy are now emerging, building on the long tradition of youth philanthropy in the community foundation field. Many community philanthropic organizations are working with young people to help them become more engaged with their communities, but are not aware of the innovative work going on in other countries.

The 2015 Annual Meeting

Join us in San Francisco!
April 26 - 28, 2015

Preconference: April 24 & 25, 2015
San Francisco Marriott Marquis


Online Registration

To make the online registration process as fast and simple as possible, you must have an account with the Council. Once you log in, the online registration system will auto-fill your contact information and assign the correct pricing for the conference, preconference programming, and other paid programs.

Look Who's Coming

Getting approval to participate in professional development events can be challenging. But, you can take initiative and show your organization why and how your attendance at the 2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations will strengthen your performance and benefit the stakeholders of your organization.

While online and local events may provide benefits, nothing can replace the value of the face-to-face offering of fresh perspectives and new ideas developed through conversations amongst peers facing similar challenges.

Why You Should Attend

Getting approval to participate in professional development events can be challenging. But, you can take initiative and show your organization why and how your attendance at the2014 Fall Conference for Community Foundations will strengthen your performance and benefit the stakeholders of your organization.

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