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 report from Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) presents an analysis of the current trends in global philanthropy

This report from Foundation Centers highlights the key findings and outcomes from a workshop on data strategy and capacity building in Kenya.

A summary of key findings from the Yetu Initiative on corporate philanthropy in Kenya.

This study from The Development Center of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) provides an overview of the current state of collaboration between foundations and the government in Kenya, and offers recommendations for enhancement.

This article from the Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies presents an overview of the evolving state of philanthropy in Southeast Asia.

This report from Asia Philanthropy Circle examines opportunities for grantmaking in education in Indonesia

This report from Credit Suisse examines philanthropy and grantmaking patterns around issues of old age. 

Led by Suzanne Friday, Counsel for the Council on Foundations and Brad Ward, Director of Community Philanthropy, this workshop is flexibly organized to ensure that your broad legal questions for administering funds, grants, and community foundation activities are addressed.

Led by Suzanne Friday, Counsel for the Council on Foundations and Brad Ward, Director of Community Philanthropy, this workshop is flexibly organized to ensure that your broad legal questions for administering funds, grants, and community foundation activities are addressed.

Led by Suzanne Friday, Counsel for the Council on Foundations and Brad Ward, Director of Community Philanthropy, this workshop is flexibly organized to ensure that your broad legal questions for administering funds, grants, and community foundation activities are addressed.