National / Global picture

    Community Foundations are the Global experts in revitalising local communities through strategic philanthropy and local investment. Community Foundations provide practical, financial and creative leadership in their local communities. This leadership is based on extensive local knowledge, strong links into communities and a reputation for successfully facilitating change

    Community Foundations target grants that make a genuine difference to the lives of local people and support the sustainability of communities through community development support, grant funds and enterprise initiatives. They manage loan or grant funds from individuals, companies or authorities, building a portfolio of services and acting as the vital link between donors and local needs, connecting people with causes, and enabling clients to achieve far more than they could ever by themselves.

    The first Community Foundation was established in Cleveland, Ohio, USA in 1914. Since then, over 700 have been established in the United States alone and there are now more than 1,200 Community Foundations in over 46 countries. The main principle associated with that movement and with Community Foundations in the UK is that of building endowment – a capital sum which will provide income in perpetuity for grants for local voluntary and community purposes. In the US, the community foundation movement has become an integral part of American society, with assets in excess of $44.4 billion and a tradition of leadership within their communities. In Canada, 150 Foundations currently manage $2.3 billion in permanent assets.

    The UK Community Foundation movement grew rapidly and now provides an effective network of support to voluntary groups, donors and local communities throughout Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and most of England. In 2020 there were 46 accredited community foundations across the UK, which have collectively given out over £1 billion in grants to charities, community groups and individuals.

    This new report by UK Community Foundations looks at the continued impact of the pandemic on local charities and the communities they serve. It examines the practical steps that funders can take to make their grant-making more responsive, inclusive and accessible to the sector. It also showcases some of the innovative grant-making programmes happening across the community foundation network. Read the report here.