In the United States, community foundations serve tens of thousands of people, administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds, and address the core concerns of more than 725 communities and regions.
Not only are these community-based foundations a valuable sources of local wealth held in perpetuity, they’re led by a local board of trustees and staff that provide in-depth knowledge of community challenges, opportunities, and broader resources. These foundation’s provide leadership on local issues while guiding donors toward investing in local solutions that make a real difference.
Here at HUD, we understand that when it comes to tackling some of our toughest community development and affordable housing challenges, we can’t go it alone. We know that leveraging public investments with the power of community-based foundations is the best way produce real results.
We’re excited to launch the HUD Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations. Teaming up with the Council on Foundations, we hope this award will showcase outstanding examples of partnerships between the philanthropic and public sectors. The goal is to recognize model partnerships and the impact they have on the quality of life for residents. Listen to HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s call for nominations! 
The Council will select a total of 10 community foundations, one each in the 10 HUD-defined regions of the country. Read more about how to apply .
Want to share how your community foundation has helped solve challenges where others seem to struggle? Want to showcase how local leaders have come together through a long-standing commitment to make your neighborhood a better place to live, learn, and work? We think partnerships between community foundations and public agencies are happening throughout the country, and we want to hear about it.
If you have questions or need additional information, contact the Council’s Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative  or call 703-879-0688). The Council on Foundations must receive completed PDF form/application via e-mail and any accompanying materials by 11:59 pm (Pacific) Friday, May 11, 2012.
Ana Marie Argilagos is the deputy assistant secretary for international and philanthropic innovation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of International and Philanthropic Innovation. This post originally appeared on HUD’s blog, The HUDle .