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.
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This report from Singapore Management University examines the public policies influencing charitable descision making in Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
This report from Alliance magazine, WINGS, the Centre for Social Impact Philanthropy, and Ashoka University presents the culture and trends of philanthropy in India and the role of foundations in managing charitable giving.
This reports analyzes the culture of philanthropy in India and the new role and philanthropy and India's economic development.
This report from Dasra explores strategic giving in India by examining how philanthropists can give more effectively to increase the impact of their giving.
This report from the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law contains detailed information on Philanthropy Law in India.
This study from Intellecap and the MacArthur Foundation examines the emerging areas of philanthropic giving and impact investing in India as instuments of the country's development.
The study from Maecenata Institut aims to determine the potential community foundations in Germany have for community development.
This article explores the history of foundations in Germany and assesses their public role, both as contributors of arguments and policy papers, and as objects of public debate.
This report from the Journalism Funders Forum analyzes and summarizes grantmaking to German journalism and media outlets.