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.

Council on Foundations President and CEO Vikki Spruill will join First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, and grantmakers from around the country tomorrow for the announcement of the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge. Made by over 30 funders, this pledge aims to bring support to service members, veterans, and military family causes over five years.

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

  • Pre- and Post-conference Registrations Open for Philanthropy Exchange
  • #CF100: Engaging the Community
  • WATCH: Big Data and Philanthropy
  • Better than Colbert!
  • Emerging Philanthropy at the Council
  • Tweet of the Week
  • Upcoming Events

Get all this news in more, with This Week at the Council.

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

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations:

On behalf of the Council on Foundations, I would like to thank Chairman Camp for his decades of public service to the people of Michigan and to the U.S. House of Representatives. We wish him the very best in months and years ahead. We are pleased that Chairman Camp is devoting his final months in office to fine-tuning his comprehensive tax reform proposal.

Board of Directors Official Notice

The Council on Foundations Governance Committee has nominated the following individuals to serve on the Council’s Board of Directors:

Class of 2017

In this weeks issue:

  • WINGSForum 2014
  • The Council and Commonfund Study Private Foundation Investments
  • Don't Miss Out on Philanthropy Exchange
  • President Obama Announces Climate Data Initiative
  • Tweet of the Week

And more! Read the full issue now.

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Are you new to philanthropy and unsure about the due diligence process for making a successful grant? Have you been in the field for several years, but are still unclear on the legal aspects of grantmaking or how to spot red flags in grantee financial statements? If you answered "yes" to any of the above, please consider joining us for NCG's 2014 New Grantmakers Institute.

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