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.

Modern life is full of data—a lot of data. Sometimes it feels simply overwhelming. And that’s especially true in the philanthropic sector. It can feel like our work is simply an endless string of profiles, templates, accounts, applications, and reports. If we aren’t thoughtful about it, the flow of data in philanthropy could be a barrier to effectiveness instead of a way to amplify our impact.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Hearing on Tax Reform Proposals Set for Next Week;
  • Machine-Readable Forms 990 Soon to be Available to Public;
  • Correcting a Fund Agreement;
  • The Challenges of State Budget Crises on Foundations, Nonprofit Missions;
  • Lessons Learned When a Nonprofit Closes its Doors;
  • Foundations and Social Movements.

Read all this and more, online now!

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Chairman of House Veterans' Affairs Committee to Retire from Congress;
  • IRS Issues Procedure to Gather from Sector;
  • Agency Funds: Invading Principal when Third Party Donors are Involved;
  • Positive News on Proactive Nonprofit Legislation;
  • Charitable Giving Coalition Releases Statement on Clinton Tax Plan.

Read all this and more, online now!

Everything you need to know about foundation law in one easy-to-use, regularly updated guide

The Council on Foundations's Compendium of Legal Resources (“Compendium”), is a comprehensive guide to foundation law for the non-lawyer. It is easy to use, self-directed, and regularly updated.

The Council on Foundations partnered with the National Human Services Assembly to provide our members access to the PurchasingPoint® program. PurchasingPoint® is an exclusive discount program for nonprofits that leverages group buying power to access significant savings from your vendors you use every day.

When my grandparents, Sam and Helen Walton, set the course for our family’s philanthropic vision in the late 1980s, they set out to make lasting change by empowering individuals. My grandfather often said there is no limit to what can be accomplished when people are given opportunity and incentive, and my grandmother reinforced that giving back was the most important undertaking our family could do together.

Networking Events

Saturday, April 9

All conference attendees are welcome to attend these preconference events.

Networking Reception for Community Foundations featuring The Harwood Institute

5:15-6:15 p.m. — Georgetown, Concourse Level