Community foundations as partners in corporate responsibility

Gaynor Humphreys

Community foundations all over the world are proving themselves as knowledgeable local grantmakers. In the UK many companies are finding it effective to channel their investment in the community through a community foundation. But this is not just happening at the local level. Both companies and government are beginning to experiment with national-level partnerships to deliver local grantmaking.

The community foundation network in the UK now includes nearly 60 local community foundations at various stages of development. With endowment reaching a combined total of £92 million (US$138 million), investment income along with flow-through funds enabled these foundations to support grantmaking programmes of £22 million ($33 million) last year.

Local-level partnerships with business

It is community foundations’ well-researched knowledge of local needs that can be valuable to corporate donors. A company’s business investment will be based on research, market information and experience, and their community investment needs to be based soundly too. One effective way of achieving this is through partnership with a community foundation, which can often identify a range of projects, small and large, that address areas of need that may not be ‘visible’ to a corporate donor.

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