What is a community foundation?

Shining a light on communities

Norfolk Community Foundation is one of 46 community foundations in the UK with the shared aim of helping individuals, families, entrepreneurs, companies, charitable trusts and public sector bodies connect with, support and invest in their local communities across the UK. They address a wide range of issues and provide funding to the hardest to reach communities through ‘grassroots’ charities and community groups.

In essence a Community Foundation is a vehicle for corporate and other giving which can act locally and sensitively to help build social capital over the long term. The concept originated in the United States and Canada over eighty years ago. Many North American Foundations now command assets worth billions of dollars, making millions of dollars of grants each year.

A community foundation works to promote philanthropy within a specific geographical area. It does this by raising new monies to build an endowment fund from individual and corporate donors, making grants from the investment income and other funds to community groups tackling local disadvantage.


Community Foundations in the UK are all members of an umbrella organisation, UK Community Foundations (UKCF). UKCF quality accredits member community foundations to standards endorsed by the Charity Commission and provide advice and support. It also provides philanthropic advice to donors and works to deliver UK-wide fundraising and grant making programmes through community foundations. For more information visit: www.ukcommunityfoundations.org

Fundraising regulator

The Fundraising Regulator holds the Code of Fundraising Practice for the UK. The regulator sets and maintains the standards for charitable fundraising, aims to ensure that fundraising is respectful, open, honest, and accountable to the public and regulates fundraising in England and Wales. By joining, Norfolk Community Foundation are committed to maintain this promise made to donors and the public by fundraising organisations who register with the Fundraising Regulator.

Quality accreditation

The Norfolk Community Foundation is Quality Accredited by UK Community Foundations. Formally endorsed and recognised by the Charity Commission for England and Wales, Quality Accreditation is a programme which endorses and encourages best practice by Community Foundations. Achieving Quality Accreditation demonstrates that a community foundation is serious about quality and accountability.