What is a Community Corporation?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 12 September 2019
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A community corporation is an entity established to promote improvements and development in a community. Community corporations are often organized as nonprofit enterprises, serving members of the community without a specific goal of making money. Many rely on grants and donations to perform their work. They can be found most commonly serving low-income and troubled regions. This model for providing support to struggling communities is used in many different areas of the world.

At a community corporation, a number of different enterprises can be involved. One is the promotion of low income housing. Community corporations can invest in developments including refurbishment of old units and creation of new ones and they may offer grants to builders offering low income housing. They can also be involved with management companies, hiring people from within the community to administer their developments. By providing affordable housing, the corporation can qualify for a number of different grants from the government and other organizations.

Business development can also be important for a community corporation. The corporation can offer grants and loans to small businesses, participate in advertising campaigns to improve the business climate, and offer assistance with workplace training, employee placement, and related matters. Many community corporations also invest in education with grants, outreach programs, youth leadership programs, and so forth, laying the groundwork for a healthier and more educated community in the future.


These organizations can also participate in outreach and education. They may address concerns specific to a community like pollution, personal safety, and gentrification, while offering classes or funding for classes to help members of the community. A community corporation might be involved with childcare classes, nutrition classes, and other educational programs that are intended to improve the quality of life for community residents and to empower people to make informed choices about their lives.

The organizational structure of a community corporation can vary. They may be founded by members of the community or outsiders, and the board can include noted community leaders who will help the corporation gain the trust and respect of the community. Community corporations often network with other organizations ranging from churches to community development agencies to ensure that the programs designed to help a community are operating efficiently and effectively. Rather than funding two separate initiatives to do the same thing, for example, these organizations can opt to split responsibilities or share funding on a project that they have a common interest in.



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