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. We highly recommend that you use the navigation or our search feature to find what you're looking for on our site.

Annually Celebrated November 12-18: Engage with Your Local Community Today!

Once the 2018 midterm elections are in the rear-view mirror, the outlook for the 116th Congress’ legislative agenda will become clearer. If Democrats end up with the majority in the House but not the Senate, how will a divided Congress agree on legislative priorities to advance? If Republicans hold on to majorities in both chambers, will “tax cuts 2.0” remain a top priority in their legislative agenda? Join the Council as we dissect what the makeup of the new Congress means for the philanthropic sector’s public policy strategy moving forward.

KJEAs I hope you saw yesterday, we have some exciting news here at the Council! We're happy to announce that our next president and CEO will be Kathleen P. Enright.

The Council on Foundations today announced that Stephen Heintz, President of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, will receive the Distinguished Service Award at its upcoming Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC. The Award is philanthropy’s highest honor and celebrates a visionary leader who embodies the inspirational qualities that define excellence in philanthropy—commitment, courage, entrepreneurship, and impact.

Disaster Overview

Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm that resulted in dangerous storm surge flooding, destructive winds of more than 150 mph and flooding rainfall. As it moved inland, Michael also brought heavy rain and strong winds to other parts of the southeastern United States. Hurricane Michael was the strongest storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. since Hurricane Andrew in 1992. The impacts of the storm has reached 

#CFWeek

Community Foundation Week (#CFWeek) is a prime opportunity to highlight the critical role of community philanthropy in supporting a thriving local community.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Day One: Knowledge Development and Group Discussions

10:00 am – Welcome and Introductions

10:45 am – National Update: Veterans Administration Priorities and Desired Funder Collaborations

  • Lynda Davis, Sr. Advisor to VA Secretary

11:30 am – What Successful Transition Outcomes Look Like: Characteristics and Metrics

This report provides salary, benefits, and diversity data for full-time staff at U.S. foundations to aid in budget planning and personnel practice benchmarking. Information is presented by grantmaker type, foundation type, asset size, and geographic location.

Contents include:

The Excellence in Public-Philanthropic Partnerships Exchange (Exchange) will host a webinar featuring the California College Pathways (CCP) Project, which recently received the 2018 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

CFE Fundamentals logoA well-trained staff and an informed board are critical to the success of community foundations in our fast-changing world. This two-day course helps new and experienced community foundation staff build the essential skills they need to balance governance and management.

Created and led by experienced leaders, this course includes: