Community Foundations

Wisconsin Data Constituency Group - CF
A community foundation is a grantmaking public charity created by and for a community of people. It is supported by local donors and governed by a board of private citizens who work toward the greater good of the citizens in the community. Funds come from a variety of sources, including bequests and living trusts, and are invested in perpetuity. The investment earnings are then distributed to worthy organizations or causes. There are more than 750 community foundations in the United States and more than 1800 worldwide.

 As of 9/21/22, WPN Community Foundation Members Include:

Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, Community Foundation of Chippewa County, Inc., Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Community Foundation of South Central Wisconsin, Inc., Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Eau Claire Community Foundation, Fond du Lac Area Foundation, Fort Atkinson Community Foundation, Madison Community Foundation, Marshfield Area Community Foundation, Oshkosh Area Community Foundation, Racine Community Foundation, Waukesha County Community Foundation, Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, Inc.

Did you know? Fourteen of our community foundation members have achieved national standards and collectively make up the WPN's Certified Community Foundation Division.

Benchmark your Community Foundation with...

Benchmarking Beyond Asset Size: Top 100 Lists - Based on Fiscal Year 2015 Columbus Survey Results published in June 2016 by cf INSIGHTS

Benchmarking Beyond Assets - FY2015

Wisconsin Community Foundations Division

Top 10 Community Foundations

Wisconsin is a national leader in the community foundation field. Wisconsin’s community foundations, coordinated by Wisconsin Philanthropy Network, are the first in the nation to develop an accreditation process for community foundations.

When it comes to charitable giving, Wisconsin's Accredited Community Foundations are experienced partners you can trust. We know philanthropy. We know Wisconsin's communities. Using that knowledge, we help you meet and exceed your client's expectations. We want to be your charitable giving partner. When you need information about charitable gifts, local organizations or effective grantmaking programs, you can rely on Wisconsin's Accredited Community Foundations.

Community Foundations National Standards Board

The Community Foundations National Standards Board is a supporting organization of the Council on Foundations and is responsible for the quality, value and integrity of compliance with National Standards. The board ensures that National Standards remain relevant amid changing policies, procedures and regulations, and coordinates developments in the compliance process.
• Evidence of Excellence - The dollars set aside for charity are limited and precious. The institutions that donors choose to support must be credible and trustworthy. As a symbol of excellence and rigor, the National Standards Seal helps philanthropists and their professional advisers recognize and choose community foundations as a sound place to give and make a difference. • Accountability - Community foundations of all sizes use National Standards as a roadmap to establish legal, ethical, effective practices that withstand the scrutiny of donors, government and media. Over time, National Standards have become an important resource for developing new and emerging community foundations. With National Standards as a base, community foundations establish high levels of operational integrity, separating themselves from the potential mistakes or wrongdoing of other entities. Community foundations also use National Standards to promote self-regulation in a manner viewed positively by the Internal Revenue Service, which has increased its scrutiny of charities, especially those offering donor-advised funds. • Impact - National Standards set consistent expectations among community foundation boards and practitioners, helping them focus and make effective use of time and talent. They also provide a framework for documenting, communicating and providing training and technical assistance to advance best practices. • Distinction - Community foundations use National Standards to distinguish themselves from entities that provide similar services. When community foundations work together regionally or nationally to build awareness of their unique value, standards reduce the risk of doing so by ensuring all participants have met benchmarks for quality in operations and service.
All applications and renewals will be done online. Whether you are applying for the first time or renewing your accreditation, you will use the online accreditation application. To learn more, click here.

The What's Next for Community Philanthropy Initiative

The What’s Next for Community Philanthropy initiative was launched by the Monitor Institute in January 2013 to engage community foundations and other community philanthropy organizations in a large-scale innovation and design process to help them open up to new models and new possibilities that will help them better serve their communities in the years ahead.

Over the course of the initiative, the Monitor Institute team interviewed nearly 200 different community philanthropy organizations across six continents; explored more than 50 analogous spaces and parallel industries related to community change; conferred with more than a dozen leading futurists to understand how the context for community philanthropy is changing; spoke with a host of donors and other potential community philanthropy “users,” (both those who already work with community foundations and those who don’t); and held scores of interactive workshops and feedback sessions with more than 2,000 community philanthropy practitioners to engage and test ideas and tools with the field.

For additional resources and free research assistance, learn more about the benefits of membership
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead