Community foundations are a national resource thriving on the local level. That’s no exaggeration—more than $49 billion in charitable funds are funneled through them to address the core concerns of more than 725 communities and regions. That adds up to a lot of people affected by the work that community foundations facilitate. Now here’s another way to celebrate those efforts.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council’s Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative, has announced the inaugural Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations for completed or ongoing initiatives executed in partnership with a local, regional, or federal government agency. The award recognizes public-philanthropic efforts that have improved employment, health, safety, education, sustainability, inclusivity, and cultural opportunities and/or housing access for low and moderate-income families.

The award, which will be presented during the Fall Conference for Community Foundations in New Orleans, September 10–12, highlights the collective impact that’s created when government entities and foundations join forces.

Completed applications must be e-mailed to the Council by Friday, May 11, and will be judged on five key criteria: strength of the partnership (50 points), place-based results (15 points), sustainability (15 points), innovation (10 points), and transferability (10 points). Bonus points are available for Council members in good standing, community foundations currently in compliance with National Standards, and those with an active affiliation with any accrediting body related to organizational performance or excellence.

The judges will select 10 initiatives that have been completed within the last calendar year since the application deadline or in effect for a minimum of one year before the application deadline. Community foundations need not be members of the Council to participate.

All entries must be completed using the fillable PDF form and submitted to If you have questions or need additional information, contact the Council’s Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative (703-879-0688).

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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