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.

This article from Coutts summarizes key charitable giving data in South Africa.

This report from the Charities Aid Foundation provides an analysis of charitable giving in South Africa.

This report for the National University of Singapore and the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy provides an analysis of entrepreneurial social finance in Asia.

This report from Resourcing Philanthropy summarizes philanthropic trends in South Africa.

This report from the Centre for Asian Philanthropy and Society examines the enabling enviornments for philanthropy and private social investment in 15 Asian countries.

This article from NGOSource explains authorization laws and regulations for civil society organizations in Mexico.

A report from Philanthropic Foundations Canada on trends resources, and strategies in community philanthropy in Canada.

This report from UBS Wealth Management examines African philanthropy and charitable giving by wealthy donors to Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

This report from the International Center for Not-for-profit law has detailed information on Philanthropy law in Nigeria.

This study from The Development Center of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides a cross-country analysis of the current state of collaboration between foundations and the government in Mexico, India, Myanmar, and Kenya and offers recommendations for improved relations