Community Foundations

What is a Community Foundation?

A family day at central Hall

Community Foundations make a difference by bringing together local philanthropists (who wish to give money to support their local community) with dynamic local organisations who need funding and other resources.

Founded in the heart of local communities, each Community Foundation is unique, identifying local needs and mobilising local resources. We work with donors, large and small, to make sure their gift has the greatest impact. This distinctive and personalised approach to philanthropy means many different kinds of donors use community foundations to manage their funds – individuals, companies, charitable trusts and government agencies.

Local Help for Local Needs

The Community Foundation movement started in Ohio, USA in 1914 and was based on the concept of “local help for local needs.” Today there are 1,440 independent Community Foundations in over 50 countries across the globe.

The first Community Foundation in the UK was established in 1975 and today there are 58 independent foundations. The Community Foundation Network (CFN) is the national network linking, promoting and supporting community foundations throughout England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Together, Community Foundations are one of the largest non-government grant-making bodies in the UK. In 2010-2011, the network awarded 26,000 grants worth a total of £62 million to local groups.

Where can I find more information on Community Foundations?

Go to the Community Foundation Network website to find out more about the Community Foundations in the UK (