What a community foundation does

Community foundations are public charities dedicated to supporting people and communities.

The Council on Foundations defines community foundations as “Grantmaking public charities dedicated to improving the lives of people in a defined local geographic area. Community foundations bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support effective nonprofits in their communities. Community foundations vary widely in asset size, ranging from less than $100,000 to more than $1.7 billion. Community foundations play a key role in identifying and solving community problems. In 2017, they gave an estimated $5.48 billion to a variety of nonprofit activities in fields that included the arts and education, health and human services, the environment, and disaster relief.”

As a community foundation, BCF is a tax-exempt, nonprofit, public charity dedicated to supporting Brookline, MA. Rather than serving a particular need or focusing on a single issue, we identify community needs through research, work with community members to create solutions, and fund local organizations best positioned to address our shared challenges. To make this work possible, we partner with donors to invest resources in the community and fuel long-term positive change.

The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Accreditation Program certifies U.S. community foundations that meet and exceed federal and state law requirements in practice and by policy. The accreditation process is rigorous, and undertaking it demonstrates a community foundation’s commitment to accountability and excellence to its donors, its community, policymakers, and the public. They confirm excellence in six key areas: mission, structure, and governance; resource development; stewardship and accountability; grantmaking and community leadership; donor relations, and; communications. BCF is proud to be accredited by this program.