What is a Community Foundation?

A Community Foundation is a charitable, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to serve a specific geographic area. Traditionally, Community Foundations have two missions:

  1. Establishing and growing endowments to serve the local community, both now and in the future.
  2. Building relationships with and carrying out the charitable intent of donors, which increases giving capacity and impact over time.

Unlike other charities, a Community Foundation’s goal is to provide long-term support and funding for a specific area’s 

“The Foundation doesn’t compete with existing charities, but assists them with fundraising on top of what they already do day-by-day.”

J.C. Cook

Mayor, City Of Clemson

residents, often by securing and growing permanent charitable capital that will serve an area across generations. Community Foundations typically do not deliver programs, but rather empower other nonprofits to do what they do best: delivering services to those in the community.

Why Charitable Capital?

A charitable fund is an investment dedicated to serving charitable needs. Interest and returns earned on the fund can be reinvested to build the fund, granted out to other charitable causes, or a combination of both.

Community Foundations monitor these funds and work with investors to make sure the earnings are being given to the appropriate organizations in a meaningful and impactful way. By investing in this way a donor’s gift will continue to benefit the community for their lifetime and beyond.