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What is a Community Foundation?

A community foundation is a tax-exempt public charity serving thousands of people who share a common interest — improving the quality of life in their region and beyond. Individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds that help meet local and national challenges.


What does a community foundation do?

A community foundation receives charitable gifts, manages charitable assets and makes charitable grants. Community foundations offer several types of funds to help donors achieve their charitable goals and to meet community needs. Plus, some community foundations like CFT run significant programs that are improving the communities where they live. CFT runs Educate Texas, NTX Giving Day, Best in Class and several programs like the D3 Institute and Working Families Success Network of North Texas that are making measurable impact here at home. 

Why do people give through community foundations?

Community foundations work with individuals, families, businesses and nonprofits to make giving easier, more effective and more enjoyable. Setting up a charitable fund with CFT is an easy way to streamline your giving and realize your philanthropic goals. Below are just some of the benefits: 


  • Bring strategy and structure to your giving

  • Utilize our staff to support your charitable giving goals with services like family meeting facilitation, business giving strategy sessions or deep research on your interests

  • Receive one tax receipt

Maximum Impact

  • Leverage our community experts who review more than 5,000 nonprofit grants annually. Plus our program staff, like those from Educate Texas and Economic Security, have deep expertise in issues you care about. 

  • Benefit from due diligence conducted on every nonprofit of interest

  • Use CFT's Searchable Nonprofit Database, a resource for making gifts to local nonprofits, or request curated giving guides to fit your interests. 


  • Stay personally involved in grantmaking

  • Incur fewer administrative burdens and cost than a private foundation

  • Maximum tax benefits — more than a private foundation

  • Invest with over 1,200 other component funds and more than $1 billion in assets

  • Donate diverse types of assets like privately held stock, real estate and more

How many community foundations are there in the U.S.?

There are 700+ community foundations in the world. This map depicts how many community foundations there are in each state in the U.S. As you can see, Indiana has the most with 90. To learn more about each state’s community foundations, visit the Council on Foundations and scroll down to the interactive Community Foundation locator.