What is a Community Foundation

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Community foundations bring together people who care about their communities. They are independent, volunteer-driven, charitable organizations that aim to strengthen their communities by facilitating philanthropy, by partnering with donors to build permanent endowments and other funds from which they support community projects, and by providing leadership on issues of broad community concern.

Founded on trust, community foundations help donors achieve their charitable goals and invest financial capital in their communities. But they also stimulate and nurture the relationships that link us to others and create our sense of belonging to community. Social scientists call these vital connections “social capital” and have found that they are linked to many measures of community and individual well-being. Community foundations, experienced in capital for their communities, also have a leadership role in social capital – the glue that holds communities together.