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.

Advancing Rural Communities' Economic Success Agenda

8:30-9:30 a.m.

Registration and Overview
  • Stephanie Powers, Senior Director for Policy and Partnerships, Council on Foundations
  • Janet Topolsky, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Community Strategies Group

9:30-10:15 a.m.

This is reprinted from an original post on Washington Monthly.

To view the “Successes of Philanthropy” series, kindly visit Washington Monthly.

Leaders from 42 foundations announced today that they have “banned the box” by adopting fair chance hiring policies or ensuring that questions about criminal convictions do not appear on applications for employment with their foundations. They also issued a challenge to all U.S. philanthropic institutions to follow suit and eliminate barriers to employment for people with arrest and conviction records.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • This Week in Tax Reform...;
  • Congress Grows More Skeptical of Universities;
  • FASB Seeks Foundation Input;
  • Single Portal Filing Project Seeks Information;
  • Accepting Promissory Notes and Other Debt Instruments;
  • Giving Incentives on State Legislative Agendas.

Read all this and more, online now!

This year Philanthropy Week kicked off with the Council’s Annual Conference and continued through the week with a host of activities. The conference theme—The Future of Community: Identity. Purpose. Place.—provided a timely and resonant backdrop for Philanthropy Week activities.


Tuesday, April 12


8:15 am–11:45 am

Breakfast to be served at 7:45 am

Recap of Winter Retreat for Foundation CEOs

Executive Summary
“If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere":
How the Sustainable Development Goals connect local challenges to worldwide efforts

There are significant challenges facing American communities today, including growing domestic inequality and increased poverty. In New York, members of the philanthropic community work in a variety of innovative and collaborative ways to improve quality of life and create sustainable local communities. 

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • News from the Hill;
  • IRS Releases Proposed Rules for Supporting Organizations;
  • Philanthropy Weighs in on Pennsylvania Budget Impasse;
  • South Carolina, Connecticut Announce New Pay for Success Deals.

Read all this and more, online now!

On February 19, 2016, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations regarding the prohibition on certain contributions to Type I and Type III supporting organizations and the requirements for Type III supporting organizations.