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Tuesday, October 2, 2018

America's 10 Best Community Foundations

Each week, Charity Navigator features a new top ten list of outstanding organizations working on a particular cause or issue. Today, we are sharing America’s ten most highly-rated community foundations.

These community foundations are active in cities, counties, and states across the country. They are empowering donors, large and small, to make a difference through a number of community-focused initiatives. They are focused on addressing the most pressing issues facing their constituents through creative approaches and innovative programs.

Is your local community foundation on this list?

Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation
Building prosperity through leadership, partnership, and philanthropy

Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation was founded in 1996 to be a unique foundation that serves the Lake Tahoe community by promoting philanthropy and non-profit collaboration. The Foundation exists not to support a single organization, but to address the broadest range of charitable issues by building a perpetual source of community capital. They manage charitable funds for individuals, families, businesses, and organizations that turn to them to help fulfill their philanthropic intent. The Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation provides leadership in the Lake Tahoe Basin as an effective, independent arena for addressing difficult issues and advocating for needed programs, services or policies.

The Winston-Salem Foundation
Investing in our community by making philanthropy and its benefits available to all

The Winston-Salem Foundation is a 99-year-old community foundation comprised of over 1,450 funds created by charitable individuals and organizations. Since 1919, individuals, families, and organizations have sought their expertise to improve the quality of life in Forsyth County, its surrounding areas, and beyond. The Foundation’s mission is to make philanthropy and its benefits available to all. They offer personalized services to make giving easy, flexible, and effective. At the end of 2017, the Foundation had assets of $605 million. In 2017 they granted $46.3 million to charitable causes, $2.9 million of which was through the Community Grants program, and awarded almost $1 million in scholarships for students.

Community Foundation of New Jersey
Generations of generosity

Established in 1979, the Community Foundation of New Jersey is an alliance of families, businesses, and foundations that work together to create lasting differences in lives and communities - today and tomorrow. Donors who establish a charitable fund with the Foundation have the opportunity to focus charitable dollars on their timetable - on causes, organizations, and communities they believe in - to achieve their desired impact. The Community Foundation is a platform where ideas are implemented for good. They are a shared, cross-generational response of like-minded individuals to current challenges and future needs. The Foundation is a place where change takes hold, and giving becomes legacy.

North Texas Community Foundation
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Strengthening and improving our communities through the power of charitable giving

The North Texas Community Foundation is strengthening their community through civic leadership and to encourage philanthropy by providing community knowledge and reliable stewardship to those who wish to fulfill their charitable goals in a meaningful way – during and beyond their lifetimes.

Central Indiana Community Foundation
☆☆☆☆ + Impact
Inspiring philanthropy

Through the generosity of thousands of donors, Central Indiana Community Foundation is the steward for more than $480 million in charitable assets. The Foundation is transforming central Indiana in three ways: by consulting donors, family foundations, and their professional advisors on charitable giving; awarding grants to effective not-for-profit organizations, and providing leadership to address community needs and seize opportunities. The Foundation was established in 1997 as a partnership between The Indianapolis Foundation, serving Marion County since 1916, and Legacy Fund, serving Hamilton County since 1991. Their mission is to inspire, support, and practice philanthropy, leadership, and service in our community.

Princeton Area Community Foundation
Connecting people who care with causes that matter across central New Jersey

Created in 1991, the Princeton Area Community Foundation builds community by promoting and encouraging philanthropy across greater Mercer County and central New Jersey. They do this by managing charitable funds created by members of the community, providing competitive discretionary grants to nonprofits, and by making advised grants to nonprofits after consultation with individuals or groups of donors. The Foundation also serves as a convener and catalyst, leveraging new funds, and creating partnerships to enable residents to solve community problems.

The San Francisco Foundation
Greater impact together

The San Francisco Foundation is the community foundation serving the Bay Area since 1948, granting more than $800 million over the past ten years. Through the generosity and vision of their family of donors, both past and present, The San Francisco Foundation awarded grants totaling $82 million in the fiscal year 2011. By focusing on policy, advocacy, community organizing, and systems change, the Foundation addresses community needs in the areas of community health, education, arts and culture, community development, and the environment. In response to the economic downturn, The San Francisco Foundation is focusing funding on safety net partners, job creation and training, and foreclosure response and neighborhood preservation for the next two years.

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta
Connecting passion with purpose

Since 1951, The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta has been connecting community members, nonprofits and other partners to strengthen the Atlanta region through philanthropy. There are more than 700 community foundations across the country each with one goal - to create a vital, philanthropic community within their geographic area. The Foundation does that in Atlanta and its surrounding 23-county region. As a community foundation, they focus on four key goals: engaging their community; strengthening their region's nonprofits; advancing public will; and practicing organizational excellence.

Greater Milwaukee Foundation
Greater together

For more than a century, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation has helped individuals, families, and organizations realize their philanthropic goals and make a difference in the community, during their lifetimes and for future generations. The Foundation consists of more than 1,300 individual charitable funds, each created by donors to serve the charitable causes of their choice. The Foundation also deploys both human and financial resources to address the most critical needs of the community and ensure the vitality of the region. Established in 1915, the Foundation was one of the first community foundations in the world and is also among the largest.

The Oregon Community Foundation
Here for Oregon. Here for good.

Since 1973, The Oregon Community Foundation has connected private giving to the public good - in every corner of the state. The Foundation’s assets come from thousands of Oregonians who have invested in their state's future. They manage more than 1,500 individual funds of various sizes. Through these funds, the Foundation awards more than $55 million annually in grants and scholarships. The Oregon Community Foundation is committed to improving life and uniting Oregonians through philanthropy.

There are community foundations serving cities, counties, states, and regions across the United States. You can use Charity Navigator’s Advanced Search Tool or Discover feature to find the foundation serving your area today.

Written by Ashley Post, Communications Manager at Charity Navigator.

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