Civil Society

Enhancing Community Philanthropy

We support the development of community foundations that foster just, equitable and sustainable societies.

A large group pose in an office space with brightly colored signs indicating the sustainable development goals.

How it Works

Mott helps ensure community foundations are equipped to unlock local resources and lead social change efforts.

A large crowd gathered to celebrate the April 2021 launch of the Mafi-Kpedzeglo Community Foundation.

Mott has a long legacy of supporting community development by promoting community foundations as local leaders of positive change. As global problems grow more complex and affect people’s day-to-day lives, we want to ensure community foundations worldwide are equipped to lead their communities in finding and sharing solutions.

Through our Enhancing Community Philanthropy program area, Mott will continue to build momentum and excitement for community philanthropy by helping the field grow and mature. Our work will concentrate on encouraging expansion to new regions and on strengthening existing community foundations. Further, we will support field-wide efforts to adopt the United Nations’ sustainable development goals as a framework for developing community-level solutions to global challenges.

Our grantmaking in the Community Philanthropy program area is organized under two objectives:

Expansion and Development

We are working to expand and strengthen the community foundation field in Africa, Europe and Latin America.

We make grants to:

  • Regional and national support organizations that provide technical assistance for creating new and strengthening existing community foundations in targeted countries and regions.
  • Organizations building the community foundation field through research, learning materials and/or platforms for sharing ideas and collaboration.

Effectiveness and Leadership

We are helping community foundations advance progress toward achieving the sustainable development goals at the local level.

We make grants to:

  • Organizations and programs that help community foundations understand and use the SDGs to address local challenges.
  • Collaborative community foundation initiatives that seek to address the SDGs.
We have long been impressed by the simplicity and power that underlies the community foundation concept, which empowers people to support causes close to their homes and their hearts.”
William White headshot. WILLIAM S. WHITE, MOTT FOUNDATION PRESIDENT, 1976-2014


All Civil Society News

Global goals, local solutions
A group of leaders that include Rachel Bowen Pittman, Executive Director of United Nations Association of the USA, Helen Bond, Ph.D, Howard University associate professor of education, Salah Goss, senior vice president for social impact at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and Ridgway White, president and chief executive officer of the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation are sitting on stage as panelists as they discuss how each of their organizations are working toward the achievement of the SDGs. One woman is speaking into a microphone as the other three panelists listen. A screen behind the group has logos for American Leadership on the Sustainable Development Goals, Center for Sustainable Development at Brookings, and United Nations Foundation.

Global goals, local solutions

How can we solve global issues like poverty and inequality? Mott President and CEO Ridgway White explains why solutions start with communities.