Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

Memphis, TN   |


Strengthening our community through philanthropy

Ruling year info



Mr. Robert M. Fockler

Main address

1900 Union Avenue

Memphis, TN 38104 USA

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NTEE code info

Other Philanthropy, Voluntarism, and Grantmaking Foundations N.E.C. (T99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Numerous stakeholder interviews, conducted as part of developing our 2019-2021 Strategic Plan, told us that our community would like us to remain a trusted transactional partner, but also expand our role as an accessible, knowledgeable resource to help people transform the way they give. We should be a centralized hub that connects community-minded people and families to the organizations and causes that are working to make our region better. The mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is to strengthen our community through philanthropy. Our vision is to be the hub that connects capital with the solutions that make our community thrive. We will be uniquely positioned to identify, convene for, and develop solutions to our deepest community issues. By providing responsive and flexible service to both our donors and our community, we will be the premier philanthropic services organization in the Mid-South.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Managing charitable funds

We manage 1,200 charitable funds, established by individuals, families, and organizations. Most grants to the community are advised--or directed--by the donors who created these funds. Establishing a fund lets you be more strategic and intentional about your giving, and ultimately do more with your dollars. Whichever way you choose to give, you are ensured that the Community Foundation will help maximize the impact of your charitable dollars. We do this through sound investment policies, favorable tax implications, and knowledgeable advice. We research nonprofits and can connect resources with organizations in need. We provide confidential consultation at no charge and are experienced in working with attorneys, accountants, and financial advisors to help donors achieve their goals.

Population(s) Served

Through the FOREVER Funds, the Community Foundation supports local nonprofits through annual, competitive grantmaking processes and through special initiatives. Our volunteer committees research and assess the needs of our community in order to award grants that make the Mid-South more vibrant and our nonprofits stronger.

Population(s) Served

Through the generosity of donors who have established scholarship funds, we offer financial assistance for education in a variety of categories. Most scholarship opportunity we offer were created to honor a different person, profession, school, or goal. Most are for graduating high school seniors. There are opportunities for graduating seniors from Shelby County Schools, charter schools, Achievement School District schools, the municipal high schools, and independent schools. Applicants must demonstrate academic achievement, economic need, and be attending an accredited two- or four-year college, university or vocation program.

Population(s) Served

We offer a fun, fulfilling dollar-a-day membership that lets you come together with other members and make a positive impact on our community through grants to nonprofits. Our mission is to unite and inform emerging philanthropists to make a collective impact on Greater Memphis. Formed in 2010, GiVE 365 was created by a group of community leaders and the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis to encourage philanthropy in a new group of donors.

Population(s) Served

LIVEGIVEmidsouth is a free, online community information system. The site houses 180+ indicators from public data sources and a directory of nonprofit organizations working in our region. Take informed action after researching Mid-South data and exploring the nonprofit organizations that are addressing our region's needs.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Council on Foundations Accredited

National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations 2002

Affiliations & memberships

Southeastern Council of Foundations 2015

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Community
Foundation’s primary goal is support the charitable work of our donors. The
primary measure of the foundation’s impact, then, is the collective grant
making made by our donors in the community. The foundation seeks to support
this work and to educate our donors and the community at large about the needs
faced by our community and the agencies that are seeking to address these
issues.The mission of the Community Foundation of Greater Memphis is to strengthen our community through philanthropy. To accomplish this mission, the Community Foundation will: • Develop and effectively manage charitable funds and endowments, offering the highest levels of service and expertise to individuals, families and institutional donors and their successors; • Actively address the needs of the community by examining community issues, securing and distributing resources, advocating when appropriate, and convening meetings and conversations which encourage people to respond; • Encourage philanthropy and the growth of charitable resources among individuals, families, businesses and community institutions.

Expanding our Donor BaseSpread the word about the financial advantages that are available and the enhanced impact that prospective donors can have on our community by opening and using a fund at the Community Foundation. Actively invite everyone who is charitably inclined to take advantage of the services that we provide. In support of that effort, we will also need to do a better job of telling our story through all of the channels that are available to us.Create a new, active donor development function: Directly solicit prospective donors for donor-advised and other types of funds; Consider donor solicitation events in group settings, such as workplaces or social organizations; Market to both new and existing donorsContinue concentrated, indirect marketing to professional advisors (lunch & learn sessions, one-on-one lunches, and sponsorship of professional advisor continuing educational events)Enhance the Foundation’s visibility in the community through: Advertising (WKNO, Memphis Business Journal, advertising in arts programs, Daily News, etc.); CFGM media (electronic media, website, social media, publications)Seek enhanced press coverageEducation and EnrichmentBuild a robust platform for donor education, with timely and informative sessions on community needs and area nonprofits, keynoted by experts in their respective fields. Build a comprehensive community information system that will provide donors and the broader community with current information on key community indicators, research on community issues, a comprehensive database of nonprofits serving the community, and a giving portal that allows donors to make gifts to their favorite causes and agencies.Establish a robust calendar of donor education sessions – six in FY 2015, building to one a monthDevelop and implement a comprehensive community information system, based on the Memphis and Shelby County’s Livability Dashboard and GuideStar’s Donor EdgeExecutionContinue to provide the highest levels of customer service, efficient transaction processing, timely reporting, and superior financial products. Enhance then Foundation’s operating systems to provide for even better donor reporting and higher asset and transaction levels.Expertly manage donor transactions (gifts, grants, scholarship funds, investments, etc.)Develop and implement conversion of internal operating systems to iPhiEnhance donor reportingEncourage donors to take advantage of the Foundation’s educational offeringsEngaged grant makingContinue to offer and enhance collective grant making options, to provide donors opportunities to come together to increase their impact and to get more involved collective experiencesContinue to grow membership in GiVE 365 and enhance grant and participatory experiencesRefine Community Partnership Fund grant programs, building a track record in collective community impactExamine the creation of new field of interest funds to address specific needs or donor interests in the community

The work of the Community Foundation is supported and sustained by • Significant asset size which allows the foundation to generate sufficient revenues internally without the need to seek additional funding from the community • Experienced staff experienced with meeting the needs of donors, applying appropriate estate planning tools, providing competitive investment options, and understanding and communicating the needs of the community • Strong relationships and active partnerships with government, the nonprofit community, and other funders

The primary measures of the Foundation’s impact are: total grants ($178 million in FY 18), number of funds (900+ in FY 18), and assets under management ($469 million in FY 18). The Community Foundation has identified two major sources of new funds – word-of-mouth from donor peers and referral from trusted professional advisors. We have placed a renewed emphasis on active development efforts with a dedicated staff member recruiting new donors to the Foundation. FY 18 saw 72 new funds opened with aggregate balances of $29.3 million. We continue to communicate to professional advisors –estate planning attorneys, financial advisors and accountants – how we can benefit their clients. For FY 18, our donors recommended 7,026 grants to 1,882 different agencies. Our staff works diligently to ensure that these grants are processed quickly and correctly. By investing with us, nonprofit agencies are able to enjoy competitive returns, highly diversified investments – far more diversified than they could achieve by investing on their own, and below-market fees. In FY 18, we opened six new nonprofit funds totaling $5 million. We continue to explore the possibilities for impact of the Community Partnership Fund, our discretionary grant fund. In FY 18, the Community Partnership Fund distributed $974,484 to area nonprofits through 37 grants. GiVE 365 continues to grow in momentum, cohesion, and impact. The 2018 theme the membership selected was “Reconnecting Memphis: programs that bridge and celebrate our communities.” The members funded eight agencies, with grants totaling $57,000.


Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Community Foundation of Greater Memphis

Board of directors
as of 09/26/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Chris Kelly

Barret School of Banking

Term: 2021 - 2023

Marshall Clark

Kate Gilliland Connell

Kathy Moore Cowan

Alisa Haushalter

Jay Healy

Jeanne Jemison

Chris Kelley

Chip Marston

George Nassar

Elliot Perry

Ray Pohlman

Robert Quinn

Pooja Shah

Regina Walker

Molly Wexler

Monica Wharton

Kontji Anthony

Hallie Peyton

Erica Stiff-Coopwood

Russ Wigginton

Dorcas Young Griffin

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/26/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data


No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/26/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.