What are Community Foundations Anyway?

There are more than 750 community foundations across the United States. But how do we define ourselves?

Community foundations are tax-exempt, nonprofit, autonomous, nonsectarian philanthropic institutions supported by the public with long-term goals of:

- building permanent, component funds established by many separate donors to carry out their charitable interests;

- supporting the broad-based charitable interests and benefitting the residents of a defined geographic area, typically no larger than a state;

- serving in leadership roles on important community issues.

At community foundations individuals, families, businesses, and organizations can create charitable funds that help their region meet the challenges of changing times. Community foundations invest and administer these funds.

Community foundations make grants, but they are more than grantmakers. They raise money, but are not primarily a fundraiser. They are involved in leadership activities, but are not the community’s think tank.

Community foundations play valuable community service roles. They nurture the nonprofit sector as a whole, and help it to integrate and grow. They promote organized philanthropy by individuals, corporations and organizations. They recognize change and convene leadership to respond to it.

Community foundations:

  • know their communities
  • share your interests
  • care about the future
  • offer giving vehicles that are easy to set up and manage and that provide tax benefits

All community foundations are overseen by a volunteer board of leading citizens and run by professionals with expertise in identifying their community’s needs.

Community Foundation of the Lowcountry

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 23019
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29925

Office Location
4 Northridge Drive, Suite A
Hilton Head Island,
South Carolina 29926

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