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.

Disaster Overview

Hurricane Florence made landfall along the coast of the Carolinas on Thursday September 13, leading to catastrophic inland rainfall, flooding, life-threatening storm surges and destructive winds. 

As more becomes known about the impacts of the storm, this page will be updated with more resources and information on any funds established to support disaster response and recovery for impacted communities. 

Editor's note: This is part of our blog series featuring current participants in the Career Pathways program. Applications for the 2019 cohort opened in September 5.

In September 2018 - representatives from government, civil society, and the corporate sector will come together at the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York City to discuss important global challenges, from hunger and poverty to climate change and disaster.

Hundreds of UNGA side-events, will bring together thousands of people, all working in different ways to “leave no one behind” and achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Save the Date

Reserve September 11-12, 2019 for the premier convening for human resource leads of foundations to learn about trending topics, network, and gain valuable insight into complex HR issues. We are excited to welcome you to Atlanta for our fifth year!

Registration is open exclusively to HR leads of foundations and is limited to 40 attendees. Council members are extended priority registration and early bird pricing.

Editor's note: This post is one in a series highlighting sessions for the upcoming Endowments and Finance Summit, held in Washington, DC, on September 6-7. The Summit is where foundation leaders – such as CEOs, CIOs, CFOs, Senior Investment Officers and board and investment committee members – converge to dialogue on trends, issues, best practices and innovations dealing with endowments, financial management, business and other professional challenges.

Join us on Facebook for the closing plenary session at the 2018 Endownments & Finance Summit

Experts from top economic thinktanks and foundation leaders will discuss the future of philanthropy, highlighting key policy implications and anticipated outcomes of changes in charitable giving. 

Join us on Facebook for the opening plenary session at the 2018 Endownments & Finance Summit

Hear from top foundation leaders how they navigated the financial unknowns of the past year and what moves they plan to make in the year ahead to set their organizations up for success.

Editor's Note: As a part of our Inclusive Economic Prosperity in the Midwest convening, we're highlighting stories from the region. This article was originally published in bMag, a publication by the Bush Foundation. Photography is by Mike Hazard/HAFA Farm