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.

A report from the Fondation de France. Foundations in France have doubled since 2001. This report examines the structure and funding flows of French philanthropic grantmaking.

A report on the need to increase private philanthropy for the arts and humanities in Germany, the Netherlands, and France after recent cuts in government subsidies. 

This report from the Journalism Funders Forum analyzes and summarizes grantmaking to French journalism and media outlets.

This report, authored by ERNOP, analyzes the data on French philanthropic grantmaking. It assesses the state of research on giving by households, corporations, foundations, and charity lotteries to charitable organizations in France.

This report aims to advance the understanding, practice, and impact, of philanthropy in China by improving knowledge about the relevant actors and the philanthropic initiatives.

This report examines the concepts, history, and institutions of philanthropy in China.

This report, authored by the Global Chinese Philanthropy Initiative, examines the giving patterns of Chinese and Chinese American philanthropists to examine what motivates them and what barriers exist to strengthening giving.

A report commissioned by the UN Development Programme on the state of philanthropy in China, with a special focus on the practical governance and policy-related reforms needed to unleash the true potential of this sector in China. 

This report contains detailed information on philanthropy laws in China. 

An overview of charitable giving in 2017 authored by Charities Aid Foundation. This report looks at trends in charitable giving in Canada. It explores how people of different ages and social groups give, the way they give, the rise of online or text giving, the importance of sponsorship and the different causes people support.