What is a Community Foundation?
A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity created by and for the people in a local area. It enables people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about either immediately or through their estates.
Community foundations do this by helping individuals, families, and businesses establish charitable funds to which they may contribute a variety of assets. Grants are then made from these funds to nonprofit groups in order to meet the charitable goals of the donor. Donors and their families may be actively involved in the selection of the nonprofit groups. The grants can be made in the donor’s name or anonymously.
Community foundations have in-depth knowledge of their communities and remain alert to emerging needs in order to respond quickly and effectively. They convene groups including donors, nonprofit leaders and elected officials, to work together on community problem-solving. Community foundations foster greater giving and volunteering in our communities.
Community foundations have a long tradition of helping bring about thoughtful, effective change. The first one was started in 1914, and there are now nearly 700 throughout the United States.