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.

While both governments and philanthropic organizations in Canada are committed to community investment, the two sectors do no often partner on projects. This paper is intended to help philanthropic
funders understand more about the context for working with government, as well as the opportunities and challenges
they may encounter if they intend to work with government at any level. 

A brief report on foundations, grantmaking, and issues in 2015 Canadian philanthropy.

This report prepared by the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government examines the magnitude, vitality, and impact of global institutional philanthropy. 

A working paper from Alliance magazine, WINGS, and Philanthropy Network for Social Justice analyzing terms and trends of philanthropy and social investment in Brazil. This report examines the political atmosphere for philantrhopy, as well as the current status, challenges, and potential of the sector. 

This report from McKinsey&Company is a study of existing barriers and potential actions to increase and improve effective philanthropy in Brazil.

This report, authored by Joan Spero and published in collaboration with WINGS builds greater awareness and understanding of the diversity and challenges of civil society in the so-called BRIC countries. In the absence of comprehensive data on philanthropy in these emerging market economies, the report identifies the cultural, economic, social, and political forces shaping giving in the BRIC countries and describes the growth and nature of their philanthropic activities. 

The purpose of this monthly call is to offer community foundation staff a venue to voice questions or concerns related to the National Standards program. The input of community foundation staff is critical to the success of the program. Additionally, this call provides an opportunity for National Standards staff to update community foundation staff about any upcoming changes or improvements to the accreditation process. 

This event will take place the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00pm EST.

The purpose of this monthly call is to offer community foundation staff a venue to voice questions or concerns related to the National Standards program. The input of community foundation staff is critical to the success of the program. Additionally, this call provides an opportunity for National Standards staff to update community foundation staff about any upcoming changes or improvements to the accreditation process. 

This event will take place the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00pm EST.