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:

  • Ways and Means Making Progress on Tax Reform Plan;
  • Race-Based Scholarships and Proving an Applicant's Status;
  • California Bill Seeks to Mandate Website, Fundraising Text for Organizations Throughout the U.S.;
  • Shareholder Activism Targets Lobbying Disclosure.

Read all this and more, online now!

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.

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.

A year and a half before the historic US Supreme Court ruling ended discrimination in civil marriage rights for same-sex couples, foundations and nonprofit leaders of the LGBTQ movement came together to address a concern: While many activists anticipated the legal victory, many also worried that the larger movement for LGBTQ equality would lose momentum in the wake of a win—potentially leaving important issues unaddressed.

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.

Maria Teresa Kumar grew up in Sonoma, Calif., a daughter of an immigrant field worker, and spent childhood summers in strife-torn Colombia during the drug wars and days of narcos. Shiza Shahid was raised in Islamabad, Pakistan, and was witness to the growing takeover of the Taliban before accepting a scholarship to Stanford University.