Community foundation development and social capital

Elizabeth Graddy, Lili Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The recent worldwide growth of community foundations presents new opportunities for community-based social change. Realizing that promise requires that community foundations sustain the charitable support of their communities with increasing competition for these resources, and thus an understanding of the connection between community characteristics and charitable giving is necessary. The authors focus here on the potential role of community social capital. This study develops and empirically explores a model that connects social capital and gifts to community foundations, while controlling for community demographics and the community's exposure to charitable organizations. The authors find that per capita gifts to community foundations increase with the level of social trust in the community. In addition, gifts are affected by the number of years that community foundations have existed in the region, population density, homeownership, and the poverty rate. Implications are developed for community foundations and for our understanding of the different dimensions of social capital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-412
Number of pages21
JournalNonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Charitable giving
  • Community foundations
  • Community philanthropy
  • Social capital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


Dive into the research topics of 'Community foundation development and social capital'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this