Community foundation grants are grants given to businesses and non-profit entities through many local municipalities and foundations within those municipalities. Community foundations are usually started to serve a particular purpose and are funded to give grants only within their specific regions. The number and type of available community foundations grants is limited only by the number of foundations in a given area.
The most popular form of community foundation grants come from non-profit organizations and government agencies that maintain funds for investment in their local communities. Some agencies and non-profits make community foundation grants available on a larger scale to businesses or non-profits at the regional level. Common types of community foundation grants include those for education, business start-up and development, health, and low-income housing development, among others. Over 150,000 grants are given by community foundations each year in the US.
Most community foundations are governed and supported in part by the Council on Foundations and the Foundation Center, both non-profit organizations which offer search-able online databases of community foundation grants across the United States and internationally. Currently, there are over 700 community foundations across the United States, and over 75,000 foundations total.
Community foundation grants are usually awarded after a grant application has been made and then reviewed by the executive director and staff of the community foundation. That process typically takes between 30 and 60 days. Grant application templates are made available by the community foundation in some cases, though many non-profits choose to leave this activity to professional grant writing staff.
The top five community foundations in the United States are The Tulsa Community Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, The New York Community Trust, The Chicago Community Trust, and The Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Grants are also made to applicants outside of the United States, include those in Canada, England, South Africa, Israel, China, India, Mexico, and Brazil. There are also community foundations that offer grants to individuals. There are thousands of organizations grating funds to students, artists, researchers, employees of specific companies, graduates of specific schools, international applicants, and other grant seekers.