History of Community Foundations
  • The first community foundation began in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1914.
  • There are more than 500 community foundations in the U.S.
  • Community foundations are the fastest growing sector of organized philanthropy.

Why Communities Create Community Foundations

  • To improve the quality of life in an area.
  • To provide a flexible vehicle through which a donor can give assets or leave assets behind that would benefit the whole community.
  • To assist people in making their charitable dreams come true.
  • To build a perpetual organization (because of its endowment nature, a community foundation will benefit a community's citizens for many years to come.)
  • To be able to respond to the changing needs of a community.
  • To increase overall charitable resources in a community.

What Is A Community Foundation?

  • It is a non-profit, tax-exempt, publicly-supported organization.
  • Governed by a volunteer board of directors who are generally representative of the community and are selected for their wisdom, wealth, community leadership and experience.
  • Serves a specific geographic area.
  • Whose purpose is to: develop a collection of named funds (temporary and permanent, advised and discretionary); make grants to a broad range of non-profits and charitable purposes and act as a catalyst to improve the quality of life in a community.
  • Assists almost anyone to become a philanthropist by accepting charitable gifts such as, type of assets, including: cash, non-cash (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, real estate), gifts of appreciated property, art, jewelry, antiques and other tangible property; methods of giving (will foundation act as trustee?) including: outright, will, revocable living trusts, life insurance and charitable remainder trusts.

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