about community foundations

A community foundation is a vehicle for people of all means to make a lasting difference in the community causes they care about. The central purpose of a community foundation is to serve the needs and philanthropic aims of donors who wish to better their community, now and in the future. Community foundations do this by providing donors with flexible, efficient, and tax-effective ways to ensure their charitable giving achieves the greatest possible impact.

The concept of a community foundation is as ingenious as it is simple - it is a means to build substantial endowment funds for a community through contributions large and small. Because the contributions are endowed, they are never spent. Instead, they are permanently invested to produce income. The income earned is then used to help meet the community's charitable needs, according to donors’ interests and the current needs and opportunities in the community. Gifts to a community foundation continue to benefit your community forever. This is philanthropy in its broadest sense.

A community foundation may operate programs to benefit the community. More often, these foundations support new or existing programs of other nonprofit organizations and agencies. A community foundation can also serve as a neutral convener, bringing diverse opinions and players together for the good of the whole community. In this sense, the community foundation serves as a catalyst for addressing issues facing a community.

A community foundation is governed by a local Board of Governors chosen for their knowledge of the community and designed to be representative of a broad cross-section of the community. The board further possesses expertise in the many areas of management necessary to carry out the stewardship functions of the foundation.

A community foundation is a public nonprofit corporation under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible to the maximum amount allowable for gifts to a public charity.

A community foundation represents a wide variety of ideas and interests of individual donors who have united in a common purpose - the bettering of their community for current and future generations.

There are 28 other foundations in Virginia alone! Click here to learn more about the community foundation nearest to you!

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