A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity serving people who share a common interest: improving the quality of life in their area. Unlike most foundations, a community foundation both accepts donations and makes grants.
- have expertise in the areas they fund and make competitive grants directly to area nonprofits using the revenue generated by their endowments.
- help their donors determine the best place for dollars to be granted to improve the community.
- manage both endowments and funds in which individuals maintain varying degrees of control, such as donor advised funds and supporting organizations.
- develop funding collaboratives with other foundations to meet broad community needs.
- partner with governments, corporations and other entities to develop new strategies to make systemic change.
- are overseen by a volunteer board of civic leaders and run by staff with expertise in identifying the community's needs.