Community Foundations


Community foundations play a vital role in strengthening our region, by working with individuals, nonprofits, businesses and other stakeholders to enhance the quality of life for residents in their communities.

At Philanthropy Northwest, we are committed to helping community foundations succeed in their work. Through workshops, events, publications and networking opportunities, Philanthropy Northwest helps community foundation staff and trustees stay connected to the issues that affect their communities. 

In Washington state, we support the Washington Community Foundation network through an annual statewide convening and other resources, with generous support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. We have also partnered with the Gates Foundation to support 22 community foundations, United Ways and identity-based foundations in Washington state and Portland, Oregon through the Building Community Philanthropy initiative. BCP participants engage in a learning cohort and receive funds to strengthen their community engagement models. Please contact Lyn Hunter for more information.

More ways to take advantage of membership:

- More than 50 events each year (in-person and virtual) that offer opportunities for peer learning, networking and igniting new ideas
- Annual Conference is the largest learning event for funders and community investors in the region
- 1 free hour of consultation with PNW executives in residence who specialize in Impact Investing and Policy and Advocacy
- 1 free hour of consulting services with The Giving Practice (and additional reduced rate for additional hours)
- Free postings on our Job Bank
- Amplify your organization's impact through our website, social media, events calendar and blog platforms

Resources for Community Foundations

DIY Strategy Improvements: 10 Activities for Community Foundations
Exercises for community foundations to try with their staff and boards.


A New Anchor Mission for a New Century
Democracy Collabroative report on 30 community foundations deploying all resources to build community wealth.


Key Facts on Community Foundations
The Foundation Center's annual report on giving by community foundations.


Community Foundation Field Guide to Impact Investing

A Mission Investors Exchange publication featuring 14 case examples.


Centennial Plan, Strategies for a Strong Community Foundation Field, 2011-2014.
Organized around four broad goals, the report seeks to build the community foundation field.


On the Brink of New Promise, The Future of U.S. Community Foundations
Seminal work on community foundations, published 2005.


Search our Resources section for more information about community foundations.