Individuals around the world and throughout time have demonstrated a charitable nature.
They give of themselves willingly to promote the well-being of others and the betterment of their communities. Most acts of generosity or charity are done informally, neighbor to neighbor, in times of crisis, or out of a sense of religious duty.
The act of giving back to one’s community by volunteering time and talents or by giving goods or money is called community philanthropy.
While community philanthropy may be informal and immediate in nature, it can also take a more structured form.
Individuals can create community philanthropy organizations that work to improve the quality of life in a community by collecting, managing and distributing charitable resources. A community philanthropy organization provides a sustainable longer-term approach to meeting community needs
Several countries have developed national membership associations for community foundations. The Association of Community Trusts and Foundations (ACTAF), soon to be renamed the Community Foundation Network, was founded in the United Kingdom in 1991