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Community Philanthropy
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Programme Summary

Community foundations and the associations and organizations that support them around the world have long been a focus of WINGS. Roughly half of the WINGS network is involved in Community Philanthropy. In an interview with C.S. Mott Foundation in 2012, our executive director Helena Monteiro said:

When we look at the big issues—hunger, environment, migrations, sustainable development, food security, peace and security, health and education, and democracy building—we see that these issues are growing in the level of concern expressed by NGOs. These had been seen as regional concerns, but now are seen as interconnected. We're seeing an advanced understanding of social welfare and well-being.

Community Foundation Atlas

Take the Community Foundation Atlas Survey », the world’s first comprehensive atlas of the community foundation movement, will provide an unprecedented opportunity for community foundations and community philanthropy organiza­tions worldwide to increase their visibility to a much wider audience including peers, policy makers and potential funders.

As part of its contribution to the 100th anniversary of the community foundation movement, the Cleveland Foundation is collaborating with the Global Fund for Community Foundations, the Foundation Center and WINGS to publish detailed information about the locations, resources, roles and measurable achievements of the world’s 1,700+ community foundations.

The international research partnership is funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation. The online Atlas will launch in the fall of 2014. Download the Community Foundation Atlas information sheet PDF.


Global Status Report on Community Foundations: 2012 Update Released


For the 2012 update, we focused on the role of support organisations and key developments in the field. We explored new issues and collected data for the analysis of three main themes: the role of support organisations, significant trends, and issues to address. We are also portraying four initiatives from both organisations already included in the 2010 report and new ones. View the 2012 update here.

The WINGS Community Foundations Global Status Report has tracked the growth and development of community worldwide since 2000. The report is a useful way to access important statistics and to learn about community philanthropy.

In 1999, the International Programs department of the Council on Foundations and WINGS-CF sponsored a project to track for the first time the global development of community foundations. This resulted in the publication, "The Growth of Community Foundations Around the World: An examination of the vitality of the community foundation movement" (2000). The 2003 status report update focused on international community foundation trends and developments since the previous report, and became the first in a series of three annual reports, followed by the 2004 status report and the 2005 status report. The 2008 status report includes brief country status reports, and in 2010 WINGS produced the first web version of the report. Visit the WINGS-CF Global Status Report 2010 website.


Global Summit on Community Philanthropy: Background Paper


The successful "global symposium" for community foundations, held in Berlin in 2004, led to plans for a followup event in the Global South. WINGS is supporting the initiative.

The purpose of this paper is to develop the agenda for the "Global Summit on Community Philanthropy” to be held either in 2015 or 2016. It was written by CENTRIS Executive Director Barry Knight, following two consultative meetings with community philanthropy practitioners and supporters, one in New Orleans in September 2012 and one in Winnipeg in June 2013, and is intended as the beginnings of a background paper.

The final version of the paper will determine the character of the summit meeting itself but, before the paper can play this role, it needs to go through an iterative process so that it has wide ownership by the field. For this reason, the paper will be used to consult widely about what is planned for the summit and periodically revised to take account of comments received. Invested readers are encouraged to submit comments or suggestions to or Download the working paper here.


WINGS Knowledge Center Resources


In "Building the Worldwide Community Foundation Movement" (Council on Foundations, 2000) Suzanne Fuert defines a community foundation as "an independent philanthropy organisation working in a specific geographic area which, over time, builds up a collection of endowed funds from many donors, provides services to those donors, and makes grants and undertakes community leadership and partnership activities to address a wide variety of needs in the community"—adding that the definition of community foundations is part of an ongoing conversation, and that "not all community foundations recognise themselves in this description". Click to view resources from our Knowledge Center.


CF Capacity Building and Benchmarking


WINGS convenes global meetings to bring together grantmaker associations and support organisations serving community foundations. Click to view the reports.

In 2012, WINGS produced a toolkit on Community Foundations Benchmarking and WINGS members participated in a webinar based on the toolkit.

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