Community foundations are the fastest growing segment of philanthropy in the United States. The first community foundation was founded in 1914 in Cleveland. Today, more than 700 community foundations across the United States have over $15 billion in combined assets, and contribute more than $1 billion to nonprofit organizations every year.
The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation was established in 1991 and our service area is the greater Green Bay area, including Brown, Door, Kewaunee, and Oconto counties. We also work with other foundations to service northeastern Wisconsin.
Each community foundation is made up of a collection of charitable funds established by various donors. The funds are then pooled and invested together so that the income provides a steady resource for the community.
A community foundation is both permanent and flexible. Many charitable funds are set up to address one issue; but community foundations are set up to focus on an entire community or region. As the community changes, the foundation responds to the changes and will always be there to support the community. Through visionary, diverse, and inclusive philanthropy, community foundations have become catalysts for significant community change.
Where do Community Foundations operate?
More than 700 community foundations operate in urban and rural areas throughout the United States; currently, the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and 558 other Foundations belong to the Council on Foundations, which is a non-profit membership association. The community foundation model has also taken hold across the world, from the Americas to Europe to Australia, and is expanding rapidly across Africa. The Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support estimates that 1,441 community foundations work in 51 countries, with many more forming around the world.