Created by community foundations over 70 years ago, the Council on Foundations remains the largest network of community foundations in the country. We are proud to continue to provide a wide range of services and support to further the missions of community foundations of all shapes and sizes.

Community Foundation leaders, staff, board members, and others wanting to learn more can exchange ideas, perspectives, and information about the issues that matter most to them – and to the philanthropic sector as a whole – on the Philanthropy Exchange.

  • Community Foundation Executives – Recognizing the responsibilities of foundation executives, the Exchange has created a space designated for community foundation leaders to share ideas, resources, and leadership opportunities with peers. This community is open to CEOs and Executive Directors at community foundations, regardless of Council membership status.
  • Communications – Engage with other communications strategists and learn about valuable resources and tools to help share your foundation’s story and convey the meaningful impact of your work.
  • Donor Services – Ask questions, provide feedback, and share resources with community foundation donor service professionals on ways to support donors, explore gift options, and keep donors engaged. This community is designed for community foundation staff who are philanthropic advisors or involved in donor stewardship.
  • Finance and Admin – Learn from your peers about the complexities of financial management, fund accounting, gift acceptance, and fiscal operating practices. This community is designed for staff who serve in finance and administrative roles.
  • Programs – As communities need change, it is essential for program professionals to have a space to ask questions, share concerns, and connect around programmatic strategy. This community is designed for staff who design and deliver programs, nonprofit services, grantmaking, and community impact.
  • Scholarships Exchange  - Learn and share scholarship policies, processes, and opportunities with peers, and see how scholarships can play an impactful role in giving.
  • Open Exchange – Contribute, connect, and learn from peers in this member community designated for staff from all foundation types. This is the best place to get valuable perspective from a broad range of audiences.

Learn compliance standards, governance and tax regulations from our Legal Team.

The Council often convenes members in working groups, task forces and committees to help inform and shape our work. Recent opportunities include:

Reach out to the Engagement Team to explore ways you can volunteer your expertise.

CF Insights

The idea behind CF Insights is simple: What if each community foundation can know what all community foundations collectively know? CF Insights was created to help community foundations leverage peer data to inform their strategy.

Council members who add Plus Membership gain unlimited access to the CF Insights benchmarking tool, customized dashboards, and 1-on-1 assistance to ensure you get the most out of the data.

All Community Foundations are invited to participate in the CF Insights annual survey and access its results. See our library of FREE publications and toolkits to provide in-depth analysis of your community foundation’s overall sustainability and ability to cover operating costs through fees.

Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report

Since 1980, the Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report (GSB) has provided the sector with the most comprehensive data on staff composition and compensation in the United States. Grantmakers rely on this annual report to inform budgeting, talent recruitment and retention strategies, and personnel policies and practices.

Foundations who participate in the annual GSB survey receive access to benchmarking for salary and benefits. All Council members and organizations who participate in the survey receive FREE access to the annual report of the results. Non-members can purchase the report.

Council on Foundations - Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations (CCSF)

The annual CCSF report is the field’s most comprehensive and authoritative study on investment and governance policies and practices. Topics covered include:

  • Returns and Investment Objectives
  • Asset Allocation and Responsible Investing Criteria
  • Responsible Investment Practices
  • Fund Flows, Spending and Gifts
  • Resources, Management and Governance

Council members can access the report for FREE and non-members can request a copy through Commonfund.

Work with our Government Affairs team to build your capacity to advocate on behalf of nonprofits and your community and inform the Council's public policy agenda.

Donor-Advised Funds

In 2021, the Council convened the Strengthening Community Philanthropy Ad Hoc Working Group to develop a set of principles and proposals to share with lawmakers and the field that would strengthen community foundations and DAFs.

Read the recommendations

National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations®

We continue to highlight the enthusiasm of the majority of community foundations to voluntarily institute strict operating policies and preserve the highest degree of integrity and excellence by engaging in peer-regulation through the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® program.

Remain up to date on the challenges and opportunities shaping philanthropy and share stories about your organization's impact through exclusive communications, including our members-only e-newsletters.

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations® (National Standards) is an accreditation program created by community foundations for community foundations. They are peer-driven, voluntary, and self-regulatory.

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