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.

This sample docket allows you to customize your program goal and strategies.

This resource from Sibyl Hite of the Hite Foundation provides insight into what information you might be looking for when conducting a site visit.

This perspective offered by William Graustein of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund will provide useful context on creating your own foundation's mission and vision statements. 

As you prepare to close out grants, this customizable checklist can help ensure you've received the appropriate documents from grantees.

This customizable sample closing letter may be sent to grantees upon the conclusion of their grant.

This sample grant close-out form can help you wrap up outstanding grants.

Outlines the foundation materials for a new board member to become thoroughly familiar with.