Skip to Content

What is a Community Foundation?

A community foundation is a grantmaking public charity dedicated to improving the lives of people in a specific region and beyond. Community Foundations bring together the financial resources of individuals, families, and businesses to support local causes and address the needs in their communities.

Through funds established at Austin Community Foundation, donors award grants and scholarships to people and organizations residing primarily in Central Texas, specifically Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson Counties.


Our values


We use data to identify the areas of greatest need and opportunity in Austin, invest in philanthropic dollars in those areas, and measure our results.


Driven by data, we’re transparent about where we invest and why. We take a stand on where we believe philanthropic dollars can have the greatest impact.


We believe in the incredible resources, capacity, and will to shape Austin’s future. We work to foster optimism around those ideals.


We believe Austin belongs to all of us. We have unmatched expertise and a proven track record of helping funders engage and invest in Austin’s future.


We provide the gathering place for a set of shared ideals about Austin. We convene conversations around the greatest areas of need and opportunity, and we lead the way in connecting funders to those causes.

Our history

Austin Community Foundation was created through the generosity of one woman, Fannie Gray Files Leo. She wanted a way to provide for her favorite charities and upon her death, she earmarked five percent of her estate ($30,000) to create Austin Community Foundation. In 1977, a group of business leaders, led by Fannie Gray’s bank trust officer, officially founded Austin Community Foundation. In creating the foundation, Austin followed the example of hundreds of cities across the country with the goal to meet community needs and inspire local philanthropists to create endowments to generate earnings and distribute grants.

Learn about our 5-year strategic plan

Read More