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 is proud to release two new resources:

The 2014 Grantmakers Salary Tables is one of the best sources of data on staff compensation at U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs.

Youth and young adults are engaging with each other and their communities in many different and new ways that affect their philanthropic activities. Both formal and informal structures to support youth and young adult philanthropy are now emerging, building on the long tradition of youth philanthropy in the community foundation field. Many community philanthropic organizations are working with young people to help them become more engaged with their communities, but are not aware of the innovative work going on in other countries.

Democratic Practice

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce two summer webinars that will delve into critical provisions in comprehensive tax reform proposal introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI-4). The proposal lays the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform, and contains dozens of provisions that affect foundations, including—

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Council on Foundations, announce the 2016 Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

This award emphasizes cross-sector partnerships between the philanthropic and public sectors. The goal is to recognize the partnership process and its impact as a community strategy to increase the quality of life for low- and moderate-income residents across all American geographies — urban, suburban, and rural.

The nomination period for the 2016 Awards Program is now closed. We will notify nominees shortly and will recognize recipients at the Annual Conference on April 11th.

Council on Foundations Awards