Regional Growth of Community Foundations

The growth of community foundations across the world is largely explained by events in Europe. Growth in North America has leveled off, while elsewhere trends are flat.

Growth of community foundations in different regions

(Number of foundations in each region by year)

Chart illustrating trends in the regional growth of community foundations around the world

Explanation of chart

The growth of community foundations in Europe has been spectacular. At the start of the decade in 2000, there were 103 community foundations in Europe. At the end of the decade in 2010, there are 631. This is a six-fold increase in ten years.

There has also been growth in North America, with 700 in the year 2000 and 880 in 2010. It is clear, however that the bulk of this increase occurred between 2000 and 2003. After this, the trend has leveled off.

In other continents, numbers have remained below 100 for the whole decade. However, there is some evidence according to key intermediaries that numbers are set to grow in Asia and Africa. As Jenny Hodgson, Director of the Global Fund for Community Foundations notes,
"Although the numbers of community foundations in Africa and Asia are still relatively small, with the majority still very young, we are starting to see clear signs of dynamic growth and the emergence of a real sense of a 'sector' in a number of countries. Not only are individual community foundations, which themselves may have emerged out of very different circumstances and processes, starting to link up with each other and see the value of shared learning and networking opportunities, but other types of local foundation initiatives - ranging from 'home grown' community philanthropy institutions to 'corporate community foundations' - are also being drawn into the mix."

Where next

We try to explain the growth on the next page.