Community foundations are place-based, grassroots level organisations that are multi-issued, with the transactional capacity to hold assets and make grants. Their ability to build trust at the community level, build local leadership and capacity to solve local challenges, make them indispensable to the growth and development of their geographically defined local communities. They have capacity to raise funds, attract donor resources as well as the ability to harness non-financial and volunteer giving. They are able to hold government accountable and are key sources of intelligence regarding contextual developments within communities, all of which help communities to lead their own development and to work in concert with their governments to improve livelihoods, reduce inequality and develop economies.
While no two community foundations are the same, their common purposes are clear: to understand a community’s collective goals, face the community’s toughest challenges, and embrace the community’s most inspiring opportunities, and to create sustained improvement in the quality of life for all its people.