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.

Thank you, Good afternoon. I think we all have a thing or two to learn from amazing students like these. 

I’m grateful to Gwen and the News Literacy Project for an enlightening discussion and for joining us here today. And, thanks to all of you for joining us at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Council on Foundations: Philanthropy Exchange!

Many of you have traveled a long way to be with us. We have leaders from as far away as Anchorage and Australia, from Baton Rouge to Tanzania.

The Council on Foundations today announced the release of the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, the most comprehensive information available on staff composition and compensation for U.S. foundations. This year’s report benefited from an increased response rate and will now provide more detailed information and data for the largest foundations.

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.

Thriving Philanthropy Makes Thriving Communities

There are several proposals being considered in Congress that have significant implications for philanthropy and its effectiveness in addressing some of our most pressing challenges. In addition to educating lawmakers in Washington, D.C., communicating the impact locally is just as important! Here are some ways your organization can spread the word about the correlation between philanthropy and thriving communities.

Media Outreach

Letter to the Editor

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

Today, the House Ways and Means Committee met to markup several important bills focused on the charitable sector. One bill would make the charitable “tax extenders”—including the IRA charitable rollover—permanent law. Another would simplify the private foundation excise tax on investment income to a single rate of 1%. The Council has already expressed support for both of these measures. All five bills were passed out of the Committee and will now face a full House of Representatives vote.

What was your life path that led you to philanthropy?
What do you count as your biggest accomplishment in this field?
Can you describe the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your career?

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

In this weeks This Week at the Council, you'll read about:

  • Deadline Extended: Submit Your Nominations for the Council Award Program
  • Elevating Philanthropy's Support for Veterans
  • Loyola University Honors Vikki Spruill
  • Healthy Minds Healthy Communities
  • Tweet of the Week

Read it online now!

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden
Launch Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge

Unveil Veterans Philanthropy Exchange

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