What is a Community Foundation?

A simple concept

The concept of a Community Foundation is simple.

They make it easy for people to contribute to a pool of funds which is used to support charitable projects through purposeful grantmaking.

They are governed by independent volunteer trustees that steward the growth of the fund, or endowment, to benefit the community in perpetuity.

Community Foundations work in partnership with donors, local organisations and the community to strengthen communities and increase opportunities.

They are uniquely placed to understand and respond to the immediate and long term needs of the community.

Download our What is a Community Foundation? booklet for more information

Inspiring and creating change

Community Foundations build social capital by bringing donors together, making grants and undertaking community leadership, convening and partnership activities. Individuals, families, businesses and organisations work with community foundations to pool and grow charitable funds that help meet changing community needs.

  • respond quickly to critical community issues
  • address identified community needs
  • enable collaborative philanthropy by making powerful connections between donors and community organisations for the long-term benefit of the community
  • make it easy for people to give back to the community
  • provide knowledgeable and effective grants to community organisations and projects
  • provide leadership by advocating for and supporting important social issues.

The Community Foundation difference

Community Foundations mobilise leadership and, because of their deep local knowledge, are uniquely placed to bring people, ideas, and resources together to address important issues effectively. They deliver funding, support local organisations doing great work, encourage innovation and new ways of doing things.

Making giving easy

Donors are supported in their giving and can see their tax deductible donations at work in the community. Because they take care of any compliance and administration obligations, Community Foundations free donors up to concentrate on supporting the causes they are passionate about.

Community Foundations offer donors the opportunity to establish a Sub Fund or Named Fund, which could be named in honour of an individual, family, a cause or a place. With a Sub Fund or a Named Fund donors can recommend the preferred charities or causes they wish to support.

Making a Bequest to a Community Foundation creates something powerful. Bequests of any amount can have a significant and lasting impact and are a great way to provide ongoing support to the community. Including a charitable gift in a Will is very straightforward.

See how Community Foundations are supporting their communities and realising their donor’s vision in these videos 

Border Trust – Food Share

Border Trust – Food Share from Hand Cut Productions on Vimeo.

Tomorrow: Today – Making a difference in our community

Tomorrow Today “Making a difference” from Tomorrow Today on Vimeo.

Fremantle Foundation – The Merenda Fund