Independent Foundations

Private foundations make grants based on charitable endowments. The endowment funds come from one or a small handful of sources -- an individual, a family or a corporation. Because of their endowments, they are focused primarily on grantmaking and generally do not raise funds or seek public financial support the way public charities (like community foundations) must.

Private independent foundations are distinct from private family or corporate foundations in that an independent foundation is not governed by the benefactor, the benefactor’s family or a corporation. Of the largest private foundations in the United States, most are independent foundations, although they may have begun as family foundations or were converted from corporate foundations. There is no official IRS or legal definition of independent foundations, so it is difficult to arrive at statistics that are fully representative of the field.

Below is everything on our site for independent foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

This is the Council on Foundations team reporting from the 33rd Annual Representing and Managing Tax-Exempt Organizations Conference. This conference is the best-attended EO conference in the United States, and we are thrilled to see so many of our members and colleagues here.

What is corporate integration?

Corporate integration is a way of addressing the issue of “double taxation” on corporate income. Under our current system, corporate income is taxed at two levels: the level of corporate profits and the level of shareholder dividends.

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the four new members of its board of directors, each of whom will serve for three years. Elected at the Council’s 2016 annual conference on April 11, Tonya Allen, the president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation, Jamie Merisotis, the president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, Tony Mestres, the president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, and R. Randall Royster, the president and CEO of the Albuquerque Community Foundation, join the Council’s 17-member board.

I have attended a lot of conferences over the years and have always felt driven to go to as many sessions as possible, to gather information and knowledge to bring back to my colleagues at the Maine Community Foundation. This time around was no different: I set out to get the latest on National Standards, to explore issues related to endowed philanthropy, to learn how community foundations and United Ways can do more together.

Last year, the Council and ICNL convened foundations to discuss how a draft Foreign NGO law in China might impact their work. The Council also submitted formal comments about concerns with this law to the Chinese government.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Earthquakes rocked Ecuador, Japan, and Myanmar this past weekend, affecting thousands, and reminding all of us how vulnerable communities are to external disaster shocks.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

America’s workforce is challenged with adapting to demands for new skills and additional training as technology continues to influence all facets of the working world. Job descriptions are morphing to meet needs as companies stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Foundations can play an important role in assisting communities and institutions as they continually adjust their sights to ensure that Americans remain strong, capable team members and leaders while companies and organizations keep pace with the ever-changing landscape.