• Description

Community foundations account for 1 percent of all U.S. grantmaking foundations but almost 9 percent of giving. In 2006, their estimated giving rose 13.2 percent to a record $3.6 billion -- surpassing independent and corporate foundations but falling below the estimated increase for operating foundations. Contributing to the faster growth in community foundation giving has been strong asset growth, new gifts and bequests from donors, and exceptional disbursements from donor-advised funds. Community foundations have benefited from three consecutive years of double-digit growth in assets, while the assets of independent and corporate foundations have risen annually at single-digit rates. Relative to other types of foundations, community foundations benefit from having a broad pool of individual donors who can respond quickly to economic upturns and also balance out those that have reduced giving. Donor-advised funds maintained by community foundations may also be seen as a less costly and time consuming alternative to setting up an independent foundation. The funds can also provide the means for donors with multiple philanthropic vehicles and giving priorities to more easily segment their giving.

Key Facts on Community Foundations 2007