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 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations (COF) today announced the winners of the 2017 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

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.

In this Week’s Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: What’s next for tax reform now following the ACA mishap?
  • Congress aims to avoid government shutdown
  • Administration weighs in as Congress gears up for a spending bill
  • Property Tax Fights Continue in the Courts and Legislatures

This was first published on March 22 in The Hill.

In this Week’s Edition of Snapshot…

  • Philanthropic and charitable leaders join the Philanthropy Caucus for a reception
  • Tax Reform Update: House expected to vote on repealing the ACA today, tax reform hangs in the balance
  • Gift substantiation bill reintroduced in the Senate
  • Council, National Council of Nonprofits presidents pen op-ed on nonpartisanship
  • Human Rights Commission Holds Hearing on Threats to Global Civil Society
  • Confirmation Hearings for President’s Supreme Court Pick Begin