About Community Foundations

Community foundations are tax-exempt charitable organizations created by and for the people of communities throughout the United States. They enable people with philanthropic interests to easily and effectively support the issues they care about—immediately, or through their wills.

Donors can establish a charitable fund at the foundation by contributing a variety of assets and may also recommend grants—in their names, if they choose—to nonprofit groups they want to support.

Three Special Features

When you give through your community foundation…

You receive personalized service.

Community foundations provide personalized service, helping individuals, families, businesses, and nonprofit organizations achieve their charitable and financial goals by offering tools and resources that make giving easy, flexible and effective. Donors can create personal legacies via named funds, teaching future generations the value of giving back. Community foundations offer involvement in recommending (to community foundation boards of directors) uses of a gift, while providing the option to give anonymously.

You receive giving solutions tailored to your situation.

You access local expertise. Your community foundation is a local organization staffed by people from your community and led by a local board of trustees. This group of people has an in-depth knowledge of the issues, opportunities, and resources that shape your community, enabling them to play a key role in solving community problems, while helping donors learn more about local needs in order to make their giving as effective as possible.

Community foundations help donors make a difference where it is needed most.

You support community leadership.

Community foundations play a key role in addressing community needs, now and in the future. They are governed by leaders with strong ties to our communities. They also act as community catalysts, bringing diverse voices and groups together to address local issues, and fostering greater giving and volunteering in their local communities. Community foundations build and steward permanent endowments for the communities they serve, using the income from those endowments to address changing community needs. Their work ties closely to that of nonprofits; they foster the development of new organizations and programs, support high-impact opportunities, and redirect funds as community needs change.

Community foundations are in the business of building community. For more information and ideas on ways to integrate your financial planning with charitable giving, ask your financial adviser or contact your local community foundation.