Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
For general information and resources about philanthropy,
visit our Philanthropy Resources page.
The Growing Importance of Community Foundations
Local Philanthropy of Federal Importance: Community Foundations in Russia
Infrastructure In Focus: A Special Look at Organizations Serving Community Philanthropy
National Civic Review, Special Issue: Philanthropy and Resident Engagement: The Promise for Democracy
A Different Kind of Wealth: Mapping a Baseline of African Community Foundations
Community foundations are non-profit organizations that use local resources to meet local needs. For more than three decades, the Mott Foundation has supported developing and strengthening community foundations as local leaders of positive change. Today, Mott supports the field domestically and abroad. This work is funded through the Foundation’s Civil Society program.
Early 2015 is a good time for the international aid community and its civil society partners to think creatively about the role community philanthropy can play in future sustainable development projects worldwide, says Jenny Hodgson (pictured), executive director of South Africa-based Global Fund for Community Foundations.
Read her recent blog on the topic.
Learn more about GFCF's work through a case study featured on Mott's Community Foundations website.
The Tuzla Community Foundation, based in Bosnia-Herzegovina, supports activities that encourage residents to work together for common goals.
Photo courtesy of the Tuzla Community Foundation
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation joined more than 700 community foundations — operating in urban, suburban and rural areas in every state in the nation — in celebrating Community Foundation Week November 12-18.
For more than 35 years, Mott has provided funding to help develop and strengthen community foundations and their support organizations at home and around the globe. “Community foundations are an ideal place for diverse interests and different voices to come together, a place where hope can bloom,” said Mott Foundation Chairman, President and CEO William S. White.
To commemorate the community foundation’s 100th anniversary in 2014, Mott recently launched a website that allows visitors to explore key lessons, case studies, interactive maps, and other multimedia features highlighting what the Foundation has learned by working in the field.
The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation’s 2012 annual report, Community Foundations: Rooted Locally. Growing Globally., celebrated the 100th anniversary of the community foundation movement — an American contribution to local philanthropy — as well as the Foundation’s long-standing commitment to the growth and vitality of the field.
The publication was timed for release as the field began a year-long commemoration in 2014 of the phenomenal spread of the concept. From a single community foundation begun in Cleveland, Ohio in 1914, the field has mushroomed to more than 1,750 today, with these local philanthropic institutions existing on every continent except Antarctica and in more than 50 countries.
Click to learn more.
The program goal is to support the development of community foundations in Hungary. During the grant period, the Roots and Wings Foundation will promote the concept of community foundations; identify four Hungarian communities with potential to establish community foundations; and strengthen the capacity of the initiative groups in these communities through training, consultancy, and international study visits. Also, the grantee will create partnerships with nonprofit organizations and donors to secure the long-term future of its community foundation development program. In addition, the grantee will strengthen its own organizational capacity and financial sustainability. The grantee was established in May 2014 by a group of community development experts and practitioners interested in developing the community foundation field in Hungary. The grantee’s founders have been instrumental in the establishment of the first community foundation in Hungary, the Ferencvaros Community Foundation in Budapest, in 2011. The grantee is committed to spreading the successful practices and lessons learned to other Hungarian communities and supporting their efforts to build community foundations.
The program goal is to strengthen community foundations globally. To this end, the Global Fund for Community Foundations will manage a small-grants and capacity-building program focusing on community foundations and their support organizations in developing and transitioning countries around the world. Through this program, the grantee has provided grants to 35 community foundations from 24 countries for youth-focused projects and to 11 organizations from 10 countries for environment-focused projects. In 2015, the grantee will develop a peer learning network of community foundations around issues of climate change and the environment. Program activities will include providing small grants to individual community foundations, documenting grantees’ activities and learning, and promoting peer learning among grantees. The Global Fund for Community Foundations is a global, grassroots grantmaker seeking to promote community foundations and other local philanthropic institutions in the Global South and in the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe.
The Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy is a multidonor collaborative aimed at expanding and deepening the role of community philanthropy in strengthening local development efforts. Activities within the framework of the alliance include: 1) piloting community philanthropy projects; 2) learning, research, and evaluation; and 3) communication and representation to global stakeholders. In its role as the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy Secretariat, the Global Fund for Community Foundations will track, compile, and analyze members' programming; coordinate and conduct mutual learning efforts; disseminate knowledge both internally and externally; and promote community philanthropy as a valuable development practice. During the first year of this project, the grantee focused on organizing meetings, recruiting staff, and developing a database. Registered as an independent organization in late 2009, the Global Fund for Community Foundations is a global, grassroots grantmaker seeking to promote community foundations and other local philanthropic institutions in the Global South and in the emerging economies of Central and Eastern Europe.
The Mott Foundation created a multi-part series examining the field’s growth and development. The series reports on what is occurring and how the field is expanding globally. It also highlights the work of grantees in Mott's key funding regions.
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