100 Years of Community Foundations
The first community foundation was created 100 years ago in Cleveland. Within five years, additional community foundations sprang up in Boston, Chicago, Buffalo, Milwaukee, and Minneapolis.
Today, there are more than 700 community foundations in urban and rural communities across the United States. With more than $50 billion in combined assets, they distribute an estimated $4.2 billion each year to worthy nonprofits. 72 of these community foundations are located in Montana.
The community foundation is an American export. Now, more than 900 similar organizations operate in 45 other countries around the world, benefiting millions of people.
Challenges for the next 100 years
As they launch a second century of operations, community foundations are working to address important challenges. These challenges include an increased demand for human services, equalized access to information due to technology, the redefinition of “place” and “community” in a globalized environment, competition from commercial charitable funds and other organizations, and fundraising competition in the increasingly crowded nonprofit sector.
Step up with your time and treasure to help make your community stronger, healthier, fairer, and more sustainable over the next 100 years.