This document details the structure, history, activities and social impact of community foundations in the United Kingdom. It was published by Amber Alferoff and the Association of German Foundations.

The aim of the handbook is to serve as a detailed guide and reference for understanding the structure, activities and impact of community foundations in the UK. It provides valuable insights into their history, current status and the challenges they face. The guide shares best practice and detailed statistics to strengthen the community foundation network and improve their ability to serve local communities effectively. It emphasizes the importance of community foundations as key players in local philanthropy and community development, demonstrating their role in adapting to social change and promoting sustainable local initiatives.

The document describes the long history and current status of community foundations in the UK, emphasizing their significant and even decisive role in local philanthropy and community leadership. It also highlights the tangible financial impact, with over £70 million in grants distributed annually and a total endowment of over £500 million!

It also provides key statistics on the activities of community foundations in the UK, including the number of such foundations, their geographical distribution, various financial details such as grants and endowments distributed, and the number of grant recipients: £71.1 million in distributed grants (2015-2016).

– £500 million in total endowment funds;

– Over 19,000 grantee organizations and over 8,400 individual recipients;

– The average grant size is £3,200;

The history of civil society and the community foundation movement in the UK is a long one, reflecting a long tradition of philanthropy dating back to the days of guilds and religious groups and the evolution from Victorian philanthropy to modern community foundations.

Key historical milestones in this process include:

– The establishment of the first community foundation in the UK in 1975;

– Significant support from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in the 1990s;

– Working with major donors such as the Big Lottery Fund and Comic Relief in the 2000s;

UK Community Foundations are organizations that are focused on their charitable purposes, the importance of a local focus and their role in promoting local philanthropy and building endowments, and use a variety of technologies to improve their operations and reach.

The document also examines societal changes affecting community foundations, including political, social and demographic shifts. The impact of austerity measures and the growing needs of communities are discussed, emphasizing the importance of adaptability and growth for community foundations. It also describes the legal and financial framework within which community foundations operate, including regulatory requirements and financial management practices and Examples of Best Practices from a variety of community foundations, illustrating successful strategies and initiatives that have had significant local impact.

Also included are URLs and links to further information and resources related to community foundations and a directory of the 46 UKCF member community foundations, providing contact details and other relevant information.