What is a Community Foundation?

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A community foundation is made up of all the people and places we touch through philanthropy and service. We care for our neighbors. We strengthen communities. We are a significant part of the fabric of philanthropy in our nation.

For over 100 years, community foundations have provided a way to bring people together to increase the impact of their giving and create more vibrant communities. Today over 750 community foundations operate in urban and rural areas in every state in the country.

The Meaning of Community is Changing

The concept of community is changing, and so are community foundations. For much of our history, community foundations were place-based: the name of the foundation reflected the locale that received the funding contributed by donors in that same region. In the digitally-connected world of the 21st century, however, many people have the experience of belonging to regional and global communities, formed around shared interests, ideas and possibilities. The Rancho Santa Fe Foundation and our donors fund nonprofits throughout San Diego, across the U.S., and around the globe.

The Future of Community Foundations

The community foundation model is evolving along with this trend of changing concepts of community. We are increasingly becoming centers of community collaboration, innovation and impact. We are uniquely positioned with expertise in community issues, knowledge of strategic philanthropy, and resources to invest in strengthening sustainable nonprofits for the future.  Find out more about trends in 21st-century community foundations in this article by Emmett Carson, CEO and President of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

Put Your Vision into Action

At the Rancho Santa Fe Foundation, we offer many ways for you to put your vision for making the world a better place into tangible action that changes lives. We invite you to find out more about us in our 2014 Report to the Community. Please contact us to find out how you can increase your charitable impact by supporting your favorite causes and nonprofits through a community foundation.