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.

August is around the corner, which means your Members of Congress will soon be venturing outside of the beltway for an extended stay in their districts—otherwise known as your communities.

This is a great opportunity for you to connect with your elected officials, build and strengthen your relationships with them, discuss shared priorities, and share with them the work you do to strengthen your communities.

The 2016 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey is now open. This survey and the resultant reports are valuable benchmarking tools designed specifically to collect compensation and benefits data for positions at community, private (family and independent), and public foundations, and other staffed grantmaking entities. This annual survey is one of the most important and effective resources for our members and for the field and we encourage you to participate. The deadline for participation this year is July 15th.

The 2016 HR Summit: Investing in the Talent Pipeline, co-hosted by the Council on Foundations and CHANGE Philanthropy (formerly JAG), is your unique opportunity to learn how to make your foundation — and philanthropy as a whole — more diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

During the two day convening you can expect engaging, intimate conversations led by field experts focused on:

On May 18, President Obama and Secretary Perez of the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the publication of a final rule updating the overtime regulations. The Final Rule increases the salary threshold for eligibility of overtime compensation from $455 to $913 per week ($47,476 annually for a full-year worker), and does not include an exemption for nonprofits. This rule will go into effect on December 1, 2016—allowing employers six months to prepare for implementation.

On May 18, 2016, President Obama and Secretary Perez announced the publication of the Department of Labor’s final rule updating the overtime regulations.

Key Provisions

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

Interested in taking an important step towards foundation financial management excellence? Is your foundation committed to diversity, equity and inclusion? Regardless of your answers, you will want to join this webinar to learn how your foundation can demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusive investment management practices. This webinar will share the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's progress and hear findings from their Investment Manager Diversity Report.

Sharing knowledge with stakeholders is an important part of many nonprofit programs, but what does this look like? To answer this question, the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation and NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network surveyed nonprofits and foundations to understand the most common online learning strategies organizations are using to train their employees, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Join us for this webinar to get an early look at the insights gained from the survey and discover how your organization aligns with others in the sector.

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the four new members of its board of directors, each of whom will serve for three years. Elected at the Council’s 2016 annual conference on April 11, Tonya Allen, the president and CEO of The Skillman Foundation, Jamie Merisotis, the president and CEO of the Lumina Foundation, Tony Mestres, the president and CEO of The Seattle Foundation, and R. Randall Royster, the president and CEO of the Albuquerque Community Foundation, join the Council’s 17-member board.