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.

The Council on Foundations’ 2016 Endowments and Finance Summit has come and gone, and based on the exceptional turnout and post-event buzz it appears to have been an enormous success. Over 200 foundation leaders, including chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief investment officers, board members, and board investment committee leaders, came together to consider the future of the philanthropic sector and how to strengthen it.

This week, those affected by Hurricane Matthew are very much on our minds here at the Council. On Tuesday, the Council co-hosted a special webinar with the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to inform funders about recovery needs, and we have additional disaster philanthropy resources on our website.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • President Obama Highlights First Department of Education Pay-for-Success Projects;
  • State Ballot Measures 2016;
  • Casey Family Program Provides Update on Federal Child Welfare Policy.

Read all this and more, online now.

Grantmaking into Latin America: Regulatory Challenges, Strategic Partnerships, and Emerging Opportunities

Grantmaking into Latin America IconThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

Immigration - How do we make it work?

Immigration Site Session IconThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Bill to Delay Overtime Regulations Passes the House;
  • Bill Introduced to Remove Restrictions on Nonprofits Political Speech;
  • Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division Releases 2017 Work Plan;
  • New Jersey Bill Seeks to Protect Property Tax Exemptions from Third-Party Challenges.

Read all this and more, online now.

One of the largest Atlantic tropical storms in nearly a decade, Hurricane Matthew roared across the Caribbean leaving a path of destruction across Haiti on its slow march north through Cuba, the Bahamas, and eventually, the southeast U.S. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by the category 4 storm that has resulted in a great need for water, sanitation, hygiene, food, and housing support.

The Council on Foundations, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and a panel of funders and responding disaster relief organizations conducted a webinar on how to address recovery. 

The Council on Foundations is partnering with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy on a special issue of The Foundation Review examining the Future of Community. The issue explores aspects of the relationship between foundations and communities, addressing topics such as the redefinition of community, the effect of evolving demographics, and potential solutions to climate change.

Join two of the authors who contributed to the special issue in this webinar:

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the application period for its flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, is open now through October 31, 2016. Through Career Pathways, the Council seeks to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline and develop a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations and the broader philanthropic sector.

In the United States, LGBTQ History Month is celebrated during the month of October. It is an annual observance of LGBTQ history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTQ History Month was first celebrated in 1994. Among the early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee for LGBT History Month was Council on Foundations Board Member and Arcus Foundation Executive Director, Kevin Jennings.