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.

Council staff are back in D.C. after a whirlwind Annual Conference in Dallas last month, where we were joined by more than 1000 attendees from around the world. You can see conference highlights at cof.org/2017annual. Thank you to all of our global speakers and especially to our global conference sponsors: Walmart Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Hilton Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, and CAF America.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Ways and Means Committee holds hearings, Senate gears up for tax reform
  • Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy named
  • Hearing on IRS reform scheduled for tomorrow
  • In the States: state budgets passing but on shaky footing; Mainers seek block grant transparency

Three years ago, I met Charles Story at the Grants Managers Network annual conference in San Diego. He was a featured panelist on a session about Extreme Management — successfully leading teams in constantly changing organizational environments. I was so impressed with his insights that we would start working together the following year, and I soon learned that Charles was also an executive coach with the Council’s Career Pathways (CP) Program. When I heard about the program’s goals and curriculum, I was completely sold, and could hardly wait for its reboot in 2017.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Health care legislation passed the House — so what now for tax reform?
  • Private foundation excise tax simplification bill introduced in House
  • House Set to Hold Hearings on Tax Reform and IRS Reform
  • FBI Director, Census Director Are Out
  • Oklahoma Advocacy Averts a Cap on Charitable Deductions

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • BREAKING: House holding Johnson Amendment hearing today, President Trump signs EO
  • Tax Reform Update: White House releases tax plan, Congress continues toward health care and tax reform bills
  • Congress averts a government shutdown
  • President Trump’s first 100 days in office
  • Treasury, IRS release notice to submit comments on priority guidance plan
  • Council heads to Dallas for Annual Conference

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Debate continues as charitable issues receive increasing attention
  • Bill seeks to extend charitable contribution carryover for public utilities
  • President signs EO to "buy and hire American"
  • In the States: Constitutional property tax exemption at risk in Louisiana; New Mexico donor disclosure bill vetoed

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Congress may be in recess this week, but tax reform is still the talk of the town
  • Congress Adjourns for Recess Without Clear Strategy on Spending Legislation
  • Gorsuch Swearing In Returns SCOTUS to Full Capacity
  • White House Lifts Hiring Freeze, but Still Looks to Scale Back Agencies
  • In the States: Reining in Red Tape

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Congress and the administration have yet to reach consensus on an approach to tax reform
  • Government funding is set to expire at the end of this month
  • Private foundations and the charitable deduction—yes, you may lobby!
  • In the States: Congressional action, inaction affecting state policy agendas

Healing Across the Divides (HATD) is a new member of the Council on Foundations. We joined the Council to learn from others facing similar challenges globally and connect with funders to explore issues such as finding ways to better build grantee sustainability.

I am delighted to introduce you to the Council’s private philanthropy newsletter!

This quarterly publication is a way for me to keep in touch, let you know about what’s happening at the Council, and share resources and other information I think will be of particular interest to you and other independent and family foundations.