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The article proceeds in three parts. Part I of the article provides a historical overview of the tax-exempt status of community foundations, from inception to the present day. Part II shows how the settled wisdom on the tax status of community foundations has been upset by the rise of the nationally sponsored donoradvised fund, the extent to which community foundations are different from national donor-advised fund sponsors, and whether it would be beneficial to define the community foundation for tax siders the possible content of a definition of the community foundation in the Internal Revenue Code in terms of their purpose, governance, and operations, taking into account longstanding policy concerns about donor control of foundation assets and income accumulations.

The article concludes that a strong affirmative Code-based definition of community foundation could help preserve placebased philanthropy. Although a definition might not seem in the short-term interest of community foundations, over the long-term, a definition should endow the community foundation with much stronger legal foundations and a clearer identity for the next century of philanthropy.



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