The Long Island Community Foundation works to preserve and improve the quality of life for all Long Islanders by connecting past, present, and future generations with nonprofits working in our area to make a healthy, equitable, and thriving community.
We are a division of The New York Community Trust.
A public charity, the Long Island Community Foundation (LICF) is a grantmaking foundation dedicated to improving the lives of residents of Long Island. We bring together individuals, families, foundations, and businesses to build a better community and support nonprofits that make a difference. We apply knowledge, creativity, and resources to the most challenging issues in an effort to ensure meaningful opportunities and a better quality of life for all Long Islanders, today and tomorrow.
In 1978, The New York Community Trust, one of the nation’s oldest and largest community foundations, established a Long Island division to provide Nassau and Suffolk County residents with an economical alternative to a private foundation or a commercial gift fund. Since then, we have granted more than $190 million to nonprofit organizations across the country from hundreds of funds established by our donors. We identify current and future community needs, strengthen the Island’s nonprofit sector, encourage philanthropy, and, with our generous donors, build a permanent endowment to address these needs.
Our diverse mix of professionals are experts in philanthropy, investing, and grantmaking. They are committed to helping donors take their vision for Long Island and transform it into a long-term plan to change our communities for the better.
Twelve dedicated Long Islanders—selected for their judgment, integrity, and understanding of philanthropic needs—serve as our advisory board. It’s comprised of philanthropists, community activists, attorneys, educators, accountants, nonprofit and business executives business that help build Long Island’s economy. The Foundation’s Board of Advisors meets every other month to guide grantmaking and program direction.
Our financial statements are available here. If you would like copies or have any questions about financial information, contact The Trust.
Community foundations, such as ours, exist to make it easy for people to be philanthropists, and to build an endowment to help meet changing needs over time.
The first community foundation was started in 1914 by a Cleveland banker who felt the practices of the day were needlessly eroding charitable funds. It was expensive to administer charitable trusts in banks, which knew more about investing money than giving it away. And when charitable funds had outlasted their purposes, it was expensive to go to court to make the changes needed for the funds to stay useful.
Today, there are more than 800 community foundations in all 50 states. Some continue to use the original trust model and others are organized as charitable corporations. In addition to building a permanent endowment through wills and bequests, community foundations today offer services to donors during their lifetimes.
What is commonly known as The New York Community Trust is actually two entities: The first, The New York Community Trust, is an unincorporated association of charitable trusts. Each component fund is held in trust by one of our approved bank trustees which has adopted “The Resolution and Declaration of Trust creating The New York Community Trust” (the R&D).
The second, Community Funds, Inc., is a New York State not-for-profit corporation. A fund established in Community Funds does not have a trustee. Charitable funds within Community Funds are invested by money managers retained and overseen by our distinguished Investment Committee.
The two entities are both public charities and file a combined report with the IRS. Both exist for the same essential purpose: to ensure donors’ giving makes the greatest possible difference to their chosen causes.
The Long Island Community Foundation is a division of The New York Community Trust.