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. It also allows them to provide a regular, growing source of income for charities in perpetuity by the establishment of endowments.
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 agencies in order to meet the charitable goals of the donor. Donors and their families may be actively involved in the selection of the nonprofit agencies. 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 founded in 1914, and there are now more than 700 throught the United States as well as numerous foundations around the world. It is the fastest growing form of philanthropy in America.
Advantages of giving with a Community Foundation
You can name your fund and designate its purpose in perpetuity
You receive immediate tax benefits, even if you wait to recommend grants from the fund you established
You receive guidance, information and advice on making your giving strategic and impactful
Your fund benefits from professional financial stewardship
You may engage family members in philanthropy and name a successor advisor
You may give anonymously