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Community foundations support organisations worldwide, databases and initiatives that provide a deeper and more thorough understanding of the concept and international networking.

Global Fund for Community Foundations

An organisation supporting community philanthropy, community foundations as a grassroots donor.

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation

A U.S. private grant-making foundation, the largest supporter of community foundations.

European Community Foundation Initiative

An initiative to support the European community foundation movement.

Academy for the Development of Philanthropy in Poland

Polish NGO whose Global Challenges Local Solution programme supports community fundraising and community foundations.


Below is an insight into the most important English-language publications on the theoretical and practical foundations of community foundations. We will help you orientate yourself by providing short descriptions and recommendations.

Understanding Hungary: How to shape the future

Our success depends on our ability to understand, from several different perspectives, the decisive social processes now taking place in Hungary – even those that are not a focus of attention. This is the reason why we organised the Understand Hungary conference, where expert speakers gave insights into little discussed but critical trends in Hungarian society.

Change comes from the bottom up – community foundation’s role in 25 years of building civil society

Over the past 25 years, community foundations in the Visegrád countries have brought radical changes in the functioning and sensitivity of local societies. Now, they have published their successful society-shaping recipes. It is worth learning from them.

Association for Commuity Relations: Cultivating the charitable impulse countrywide

(C. S. Mott Foundation, 2012)

The publication presents the Association for Community Relations, the most important organisation supporting the development of the community foundation movement in Romania, its philosophy and programmes in a short, enjoyable form. We recommend it to everyone!

President’s Annual Message

(C. S. Mott Foundation, 2012)

The regular presidential message details why and how the Mott Foundation has granted nearly $150 million to community foundations worldwide in recent decades. We highly recommend it to those who are interested in long-term strategies!

More than the poor cousin? The emergence of community foundations as a new development paradigm

(Jenny Hodgson – Barry Night, 2010)

Through presenting some case studies and data from organisations supported by the Global Fund for Community Foundations, the authors illustrate the development of community foundations in the global South. The paper interprets the appearance and development of community foundations in Central and Eastern Europe as a regional manifestation of the global trend of building bottom-up initiatives. It is an interesting read, especially for those interested in development and international aid.

The Balancing Act …

 (Dorothy Reynolds, 2008)

The series presents the three basic functions of community foundations, with each volume dedicated to one basic function. Providing accurate descriptions, it presents – in an easy-to-understand manner –  the changes that have taken place over the decades in terms of grant-giving, fundraising, and community development. Moreover, it even shows how each function has been implemented in different parts of the world. Dorothy Reynolds, the author of the booklets, has worked with many community foundations around the world, including several times in Central Europe, as the director of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint and then consultant to the C. S. Mott Foundation. An excellent read for those who are already in love with the concept of community foundation and want to deepen their knowledge.

When Size Matters: The phenomenon of community foundations in small towns and rural areas of Russia

(Larisa Avrorina and Yulia Khodorova, CAF Russia, 2017)

In the 2010s, “rural funds” very similar to community foundations began to develop unexpectedly in Russia. The study takes into account the causes of the phenomenon, the results of the operation of rural funds, and the opportunities for development. Another reason why we recommend it is that the Russian situation shows many similarities to the domestic one.

Local Leadership, Global Impact: Community Foundations and the Sustainable Development

(Natalie Ross, 2017)

The publication delivers exactly what its title promises: how the work of community foundations can relate to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. A theoretical framework and numerous case studies from different parts of the world. In 2016, the European Community Foundation Initiative launched a series of short publications presenting community foundations country by country. So far, German, British, Italian and Romanian versions have been published.

Dimensions of the Field. An In-Depth Analysis of the Community Foundation Movement

(Community Foundation Atlas, 2014)

The study examines the situation and development of community foundations based on data from 478 community foundations in 52 countries. This is currently the most up-to-date analytical work that uses global data.