1950
1950

The Mott Foundation makes its first grant in support of a community foundation, the Flint Public Trust.

See Case Study
1979
1979

Mott begins to help develop and strengthen the community foundation field in the U.S. by making grants for endowments and technical assistance.

Eugene C. Struckhoff, known by many in the field as the “Johnny Appleseed of community foundations,” became the primary consultant for the Council on Foundations/Mott Technical Assistance Program. The program provided one-on-one consulting with Struckhoff and other professionals to help community foundations learn how to develop staff, boards, donors, endowments, grantmaking programs and marketing strategies. From 1982 until 1995, Mott also awarded direct challenge grants for administrative expenses, endowment building, and re-granting. Overall, Mott support for this programming totaled $7.4 million and reached almost 200 community foundations throughout the U.S. Participants noted three elements that were of particular value:

  • 1
    Challenge grants, which required foundations to provide local cash matches as a way to leverage resources and promote community involvement
  • 2
    The use of successful leaders to mentor those new to the field or struggling
  • 3
    Specialized training for boards and staff
1984
1984

Mott launches the Neighborhoods Small Grants Program.

See Case Study
1988
1988

The Community Foundation of Greater Flint is created through a Mott-supported merger of the Flint Public Trust and the Flint Area Health Foundation.

See Case Study
1988
1988

Mott makes its first grants to community foundations in the United Kingdom.

See Case Study
1992
1992

Mott begins to make grants to community foundation support organizations outside the U.S.

1994
1994

Slovakia establishes first community foundation on continental Europe.

Mott provides the Healthy City Community Foundation in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia, with general purposes support of more than $300,000 over 10 years. The community foundation idea rapidly spreads elsewhere in the region.

1996
1996

Programming to support the development of community foundations in Russia takes off.

Mott makes a grant to the Charities Aid Foundation to help Russia establish its first community foundation, which launches two years later as the Togliatti Community Foundation. A series of assistance and challenge grants are made to help support new community foundations and strengthen existing ones, totaling more than $2.5 million. In 2003, Russian community foundations create their own association, the Community Foundation Partnership, which Mott supports today.

1997
1997

Community foundation funders in the Great Lakes region link arms.

Twenty-one community foundations along the Great Lakes shoreline — backed by the Council of Michigan Foundations, the Great Lakes Protection Fund, and Mott — participate in the Great Lakes Community Foundation Collaborative.

See Case Study
1998
1998

Mott funds leaders from South Africa to visit community foundations in the U.S.

Within a year, the UThungulu Community Foundation formally launches as South Africa’s first Mott-supported community foundation.

See Case Study
1999
1999

Exchanges between community foundations in North America and Europe begin.

The Transatlantic Community Foundation Fellowship Program — co-funded by the German Marshall Fund, the King Baudouin Foundation, and the Mott Foundation, and managed by the German Marshall Fund — supports more than 60 fellowships at 20-plus community foundations in North America and Europe between 1999 and 2006. These three-week fellowships enable community foundation leaders to exchange lessons learned, share best practices, and build new skills with their counterparts in other countries. The Transatlantic Community Foundation Network, launched in 1999 with support from the Mott and Bertelsmann foundations, brought together about 60 community-foundation and support-organization practitioners from 14 countries for shared learning opportunities and to develop information products for the broader community foundation field.

2000
2000

The Mott-funded International Program of the Council on Foundations and Worldwide Initiatives for Grantmaker Support (WINGS) jointly produce the first community foundation global status report. WINGS updates this source of information about the growth and vitality of community foundations every two to three years.

2001
2001

Community Foundation Support Initiative launches in Germany.

Originally co-funded and managed by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the initiative becomes a program managed by the German Association of Foundations. It provides assistance, training, and peer learning to enhance the work of existing community foundations, help establish new community foundations, and promote the concept and model across the country. As a result, the field grows from 35 community foundations in 2001 to 259 at the start of 2014. Mott supported the initiative between 2001 and 2010.

2003
2003

Mott provides $480,000 to the Community Foundation for Ireland.

Established in 2000 as a national community foundation, CFI uses Mott funds to add staff to help meet an endowment challenge grant from Atlantic Philanthropies. The successful endowment campaign results in CFI having permanent assets of more than 19 million euros when the challenge grant program ended in 2006. In addition to raising endowment funds, CFI raises its profile vis-à-vis the government, high-net-worth individuals, financial advisors, and businesses in Ireland. At the start of 2014, CFI’s assets were 34 million euros.

2005
2005

“On the Brink of New Promise: the Future of U.S. Community Foundations” is published.

A seminal report results from a Community Foundation Futures research project, which was conducted by Blueprint Research & Design, Inc., and co-funded by the Mott and Ford foundations. The report creates a huge shift in the field, causing many U.S. community foundations to strive for an appropriate balance between a focus on building financial assets and better serving their communities.

2006
2006

The Global Fund for Community Foundations is established.

Created as an outgrowth of the World Bank Community Foundation Program and supported by the Mott and Ford foundations and the World Bank, this fund tests the efficacy of community foundation development in countries receiving grants, loans or other assistance from the World Bank.

See Case Study
2007
2007

CFLeads places a singular focus on advancing community leadership as an organizing strategy for community foundations.

As a follow-up to the “On the Brink” report, several funders — community foundations, the Council on Foundations, and the Annie E. Casey, Ford, Lumina, and Mott foundations — support CFLeads as a primary field organization. It identifies strategies that prepare community foundations to better take on challenging issues, pursue cross-sector solutions, engage residents, and marshal the resources needed to improve their communities and provide opportunities for all. In 2008, a 30-member national task force of philanthropic leaders articulates specific practices in the “Framework for Community Leadership by a Community Foundation.”

2011
2011

Mexican community foundations establish Comunalia, an independent network.

Comunalia was created to support individual organizational development and to collectively strengthen the community foundation field in Mexico. The network was formally established following a 2008 assessment of the field and an earlier community foundation visioning process funded by the Inter-American, Kellogg, and Mott foundations. In 2012, the three aforementioned foundations joined several Mexican national funders and organizations, including the 16-member Comunalia, in bolstering community foundations in Mexico. Since 2001, Mott has provided almost $2 million to support the development of community foundations in Mexico.

2013
2013

U.S. releases critical publication for the community foundation field.

A result of the Cultivating Community Engagement project supported by the Mott and Kellogg foundations, this report challenges community foundations to fulfill their potential for impact. It proposes they reach beyond traditional leaders — policymakers, nonprofit executives, researchers and other funders — to directly engage residents as partners in change.

2014
2014

Field celebrates the centennial of the first U.S. community foundation in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mott supports projects marking this occasion and the field’s future development, including an endowed Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Chair on Community Foundations at the Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; the Cleveland Foundation’s Global Online Community Foundation Atlas; and the edited volume of Here for Good: Community Foundations and the Challenges of the 21st Century by Terry Mazany and David C. Perry (eds).