What is a Community Foundation?

Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities organized as collections of individual funds. Individuals, families and organizations establish permanent charitable funds at community foundations for a variety of philanthropic reasons. These funds are intended for the long-term benefit of a specific geographic location, hence, “community” foundation.

Unique among charitable organizations, community foundations are experts on both sides of the philanthropic exchange, providing exceptional service to individual funds and developing deep knowledge of local communities and their needs.

In addition to facilitating their donors’ grantmaking, community foundations generally have their own grantmaking programs that focus on particular issues, a specific geographic region, or both. Learn about The Youngstown Foundation's grantmaking history (click to go to grant awards section) in our community.

Community foundations are overseen by a volunteer board of local community leaders and run by professionals with expertise in the issues facing their community. There are currently more than 700 community foundations across the United States, with combined assets of about $35 billion.