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.

When my colleague and fellow attorney Lara Kalwinski, Senior Counsel for Policy and Compliance and Executive Director of National Standards, and I both came to the Council on Foundations in 2013, we each had extensive experience with the Council’s books, newsletters, and other legal publications. In fact, we both relied heavily on these resources in our previous positions.

Realizing that it was time to begin updating them to incorporate changes in the law and other new information, Lara and I began to brainstorm about the best ways to deliver the information to our members.

The Council on Foundations, a member of the Global NPO Coalition on FATF, applauds the Financial Action Task Force’s (FATF) recent update to its counter-terrorism recommendation on NPOs, specifically grantmakers.

This post originally appeared as an op-ed in The Chronicle of Philanthropy on June 24, 2016 with the title "Brexit Vote Will Force Philanthropy to Tackle Many Tough Issues."

The vote for Britain to exit the European Union took philanthropy and the rest of the world by surprise. But it raises tough new questions about how grant makers should respond to political and financial turmoil and uncertainty.

I started this blog post earlier in the month to recognize June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ)* Pride Month, but the tragedy in Orlando rightly caused the Council and my blog post to change course. As June comes to a close, it seems fitting to celebrate the LGBTQ community and the steps which our society has taken on its journey toward full equality.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

The second chapter of the Council’s full 2015 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report provides extensive data on staff and salaries. In it, we offer tables on everything from the size of responding foundations to the diversity and salaries of their full-time staff and the tenure and turnover of various staff members. Later chapters also feature extensive salary data, but this chapter focuses on CEOs and program officers in particular.

Get the Report

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.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Philanthropy Asks Congress to "Grow Philanthropy Now";
  • Learning Opportunity: How Broadband Access Supports Local Priorities;
  • Summit Explores Potential of Pay-for-Success in Education;
  • RS Holds Meeting to Discuss Recommendations from the Sector;
  • Giving USA Releases 2016 Report.

Read all this and more, online now.

Giving USA 2016 was released this week and found that overall U.S. charitable giving from all sources—including individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations—reached an estimated $373.25 in 2015. This was an all-time high for the second consecutive year.

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.