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.

This resource from Sibyl Hite of the Hite Foundation provides insight into what information you might be looking for when conducting a site visit.

This perspective offered by William Graustein of the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund will provide useful context on creating your own foundation's mission and vision statements. 

As you prepare to close out grants, this customizable checklist can help ensure you've received the appropriate documents from grantees.

This customizable sample closing letter may be sent to grantees upon the conclusion of their grant.

This sample grant close-out form can help you wrap up outstanding grants.

Outlines the foundation materials for a new board member to become thoroughly familiar with.

The role of the foundation CEO is pivotal to the success of a foundation’s goals. Even at foundations without a staff, the tasks of the CEO do not disappear, but rather are carried out by board members. In this publication, we explore some of the critical issues and challenges foundation CEOs face in their daily work.

While philanthropy that crosses national borders has much in common with its domestic counterpart, it also differs in significant and challenging ways. Language differences, communication across vast distances, unfamiliar cultural values and perspectives, multiple legal systems, and disparate accounting practices are a few of the factors that distinguish international from local or national philanthropy and contribute to its complexity.