What are Community Foundations Anyway?
There are more than 700 community foundations across the United States. But how do we define ourselves?
Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities serving thousands of people who share a common interest—improving the quality of life in their area.
Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that help their region meet the challenges of changing times. Community foundations invest and administer these funds.
Community foundations make grants, but they are more than grantmakers. They raise money, but are not primarily a fundraiser. They are involved in leadership activities, but are not the community’s think tank.
Community foundations play valuable community service roles. They nurture the nonprofit sector as a whole, and help it to integrate and grow. They promote organized philanthropy by individuals, corporations and organizations. They recognize change and convene leadership to respond to it.
- know their communities
- share your interests
- care about the future
- offer giving vehicles that are easy to set up and manage and that provide tax benefits
All community foundations are overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and run by professionals with expertise in identifying their community’s needs.