What we do

Community foundations are publicly-supported philanthropic institutions governed by a board of private citizens chosen to represent the public interest and for their knowledge of the community.

Community foundations uniquely serve three publics: donors, the nonprofit sector and the community as a whole.

Community foundations are one of the most enduring and fastest growing sectors of organized philanthropy in the United States and around the world. A catalyst for change, 700 community foundations serve citizens in all 50 states, and in over 46 countries worldwide. Domestically, community foundations hold billions in assets and grant billions annually to various fields of interest including the arts, education, emerging needs, environment, health and human services.

How does a community foundation manage gifts?

Community foundations combine charitable gifts to financially leverage and maximize donor gifts by creating permanent endowments to meet current and future needs. Visionary, flexible and inclusive, community foundations routinely work with families, individuals, estate planners and attorneys to design gift plans that fit every economic circumstance and donor area of interest. Community foundations accept gifts from private citizens, corporations, government agencies and other foundations.

Who are we?

The Foundation is a tax-exempt 501c(3) public charity with a mission to serve people in the greater Albuquerque area.  

The Foundation administers a permanent community endowment comprised of many gifts, large and small, and uses the earnings from that endowment to make grants to other nonprofit organizations and educational institutions.

The Foundation is a New Mexico philanthropic entity concerned with all aspects of community well-being. Since our establishment in 1981, over $58 million has been granted to nonprofit organizations serving the greater Albuquerque area.

Our staff partners with donors, funders, national organizations, statewide community foundations, leadership groups and nonprofit organizations to build a vibrant future for our community.

In addition to encouraging the growth of a permanent charitable endowment and administering a strategic grantmaking program, our Foundation grants in the following fields-of-interest through the competitive grant program:

Arts & Culture

Economic & Workforce Development


Environmental & Historic Preservation


Human Services

 A Message from the President & CEO:

I will be the first to admit that explaining the work of the Albuquerque Community Foundation isn’t a simple task. Our recent survey validated this complexity. We researched what donors and grant recipients know about us and what they think of our work. The results showed – we are perceived as trustworthy and doing effective work, however some aren’t sure what that work is!  To be most effective, we try to focus our efforts within the three general categories of Leadership, Trust and Legacy.

Leadership. Our goal is to be a community leader who often deals with complicated, multilayered community challenges, such as homelessness, hunger or education, all of which require more attention than an influx of grant funding. We will lead by gathering the best minds from throughout the community, just as the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger has successfully done and continues to do. Together we will analyze a situation or issue and look for effective solutions, knowing that creating the desired change may take years.

Trust. We have effectively invested donors’ gifts for long-term growth. Our assets, valued at more than $87.8 million, are the nucleus of our work. Since 1981 the endowment has fueled over $57 million in grants to local nonprofit organizations providing exceptional programs for the underserved.

Legacy. Donors tell us they make gifts to the Foundation because they care about Albuquerque and want to give back to a place that has given them so much.  We see individuals who will provide financial support to the organizations they care about during their lifetime and long after their death.  We see families establishing funds so they can teach their children the importance of giving and young professionals pooling their money for more effective grantmaking. 

When you think about the Albuquerque Community Foundation, I hope you will think of three words, Leadership | Trust | Legacy.  They describe who we are, what we do, and will continue to be, forever.

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