Private 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 foundation” is the umbrella term that includes corporate, independent, family, and operating foundations.  As of 2011, there were 73,764 private foundations in the United States (Foundation Center, 2011).  

In 2011, private foundations held more than $604 billion in assets and gave away more than $45 billion (Foundation Center, 2011).  

Below is everything on our site for private foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

During my seven-year tenure as superintendent of Guilford County Schools, I was committed to listening to and learning from others. I listened to parents, teachers and students to understand what we could do in order to make our schools better for each child. Much of that listening and learning contributed to the development of the school district’s first-ever strategic plan, which through the work of many, resulted in notable student achievements, both academic and non-academic.

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened (green is open; red is closed). For those interested in social justice, democracy, and rights around the world, 2016 was an annus horribilis.


A great example of a foundation that has already been active in reaching out to their members in the 115th Congress is the Adirondack Foundation. Click here to see their example of a letter to the Congresswoman representing their district!

At the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, we’ve been talking about how to deal with minor successors being named on a fund. We started looking into it after reading a discussion about it on the Philanthropy Exchange. It’s a tricky situation: If your fund adviser is underage, they may not be in a position to correctly advise.

Today is World AIDS Day — a time for people all over the globe to remember those we have lost to HIV and to recommit ourselves to ending the AIDS epidemic once and for all. On this day, the Council on Foundations salutes the many individuals and organizations united in the fight against HIV and working to improve the lives of people living with HIV. The Levi Strauss Foundation is among those organizations working to put an end to the AIDS epidemic.

Hundreds of stories are amplified by the minute during #GivingTuesday. The global and social movement captures the hearts, minds, and spirits of many who look to philanthropy on this day.

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday puts the focus back on the giving season by harnessing the potential of social media to bring about positive change in communities and inspire more acts of kindness.

Following up on the webinar we presented in August on the overtime rule that was issued by the Department of Labor in May, we wanted to inform the field that a federal judge in Texas has issued a nationwide injunction to halt the implementation of this rule.

The Council on Foundations today announced that the nomination period for its 2017 Awards Program is open now through January 4, 2017.

We all knew that November was going to be a tumultuous month (if you hadn't heard, there's an election today). When the polls close and the dust settles, the country could be set on one of a number of starkly different paths. Perhaps because of this uncertainty, President Obama took the opportunity to lift up one of the few truly bipartisan issues by declaring November National Entrepreneurship Month.

In this week's Washington Snapshot: