Community foundations are 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charities with the goal of improving the quality of life in a specific area or region, primarily through endowment building and coordinated grant-making services. Community foundations enrich an area by connecting generosity with need, offering individuals, families and businesses a variety of easy and cost-effective ways to impact their community through charitable giving. Community foundations are governed by a local volunteer board of trustees and run by professionals with expertise in assessing the community’s need, working with donors and managing assets.
In addition to fundraising, money management and grant-making, community foundations act as catalysts for community improvement by collaborating with a wide variety of partners. They serve as conveners of individuals, institutions and resources to solve community problems; engaging researchers to study community issues and community builders to unite, strengthen and promote their respective communities.