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. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

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Relevant To:

  • IRA Charitable Rollover
  • Simplified Private Foundation Excise Tax
  • Conservation Easement Deduction
  • Food Inventory Deduction Advance in House

Background

I recently had the opportunity to interview Emily Kessler, the interim director of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy. In this interview, Emily shares how she got her start in philanthropy and what she is hoping to do to help emerging professionals and increase the value of an EPIP membership.

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A well-trained staff and a well-informed board are crucial to community foundation success in a fast-changing world. This two-day course helps new and experienced foundation stakeholders build essential skills they need. Created and led by experienced leaders, this course includes:

The Intersection of Public Policy and National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™

Because community foundation leaders take their commitment to community seriously, they created an accreditation program demonstrating the willingness of community foundations to go above and beyond what the law requires to prove they strive for operations excellence. National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations™ were created over ten years ago, in part as a response to pressure on the field.

Please join Council on Foundations members and others within the Southern California philanthropic community for a unique program to learn about the opportunities and challenges affecting the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors at a local, state, and federal levels as the 2016 election cycle gets underway.