What Is a Community Foundation?

Community foundations are tax-exempt public charities serving people who have a common passion: improving the quality of life in their area. Community foundations develop endowment funds, create donor legacies and support the broad charitable areas of the community.

Individuals, families, businesses and organizations can choose to create permanent charitable funds that help their region meet the challenges of changing times. The community foundation then invests and administers these funds. All community foundations are governed by a volunteer board of leading citizens and operated daily by professionals with knowledge of community needs.

Community foundations are recognized as one of the fastest growing forms of philanthropy in the world today with over 800 in the United States alone!


Because philanthropy is their only business, through which they provide the accountability, simplicity and leadership to help donors and communities address community needs and charitable goals.

Why choose a community foundation?

There are many reasons to invest in a local community foundation. Community foundations go beyond simply making grants that advance charitable activities. Community foundations also identify current and emerging issues, stimulate resources to address those needs and help their region prepare for the future. They work with professional advisors and donors to provide the best vehicle for giving while providing the maximum tax advantages.

Who can make gifts to the Berrien Community Foundation?

Anyone! Individuals, families, organizations and businesses interested in the future development of Berrien County may make gifts to the community foundation. Gifts are often made to memorialize a friend or family member, recognize an achievement, honor families, or encourage philanthropy within an organization.