Community foundations

A community foundation is an independent philanthropic organisation working in a specific geographic area.

Community foundations are dedicated to strengthening local communities, creating opportunities and tackling issues of disadvantage and exclusion.

The foundation attracts tax deductible donations to its public fund and builds a capital base known as a corpus – a fund of money invested in perpetuity. This provides a permanent and growing source of funding, with the income earned each year being returned to the community as annual grants to deductible gift recipients or other tax deductible entities.

In addition, the community foundation through the charitable company or trust, can support wider charitable purposes.

Understanding community foundations

The Community Foundations Funding Program (2009 to 2013) was a grants and capacity building program to support community foundations across Victoria. It successfully built the profile, grant-making and governance capacity of all 12 community foundations involved.

To build further awareness and understanding of community foundations a series of videos on community foundations were developed which document a range of aspects of community foundation development and operation. These videos can be viewed by potential supporters, volunteers, board members and community members.