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.

In this issue: Giving USA Report Released, Senate Finance Committee Releases White Paper on Tax-Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving, Baucus and Camp Plan Summer Tax Reform Road Show, Continued IRS Scrutiny

Read this issue.

Our world has become increasingly dependent upon content to attract people’s attention. This content ranges from blogs on the Internet to television shows. Due to global shifts in our economy, economic developers have to work harder to attract companies and individual entrepreneurs. What used to be local efforts to attract job creators from neighboring cities and regions has shifted to competition with states located across the United States and foreign countries.

On Monday, DRF announced a $10 million grant to fund an entrepreneurship initiative to benefit the residents of the City of Danville and Pittsylvania County in Virginia and Caswell County in North Carolina, the foundation’s Dan River Region footprint. In a global economy, investment in those who create businesses is essential. The Dan River Region is emerging from a depressed economy brought about by the exodus of the tobacco and textile economy on which it thrived for over a century.

After a lot of encouragement from the field, the IRS is ready to issue new regulations regarding  program-related investments (PRIs). The regulations don’t change the rules governing PRIs. Foundations will still be able to invest creatively to advance their mission, as well as recycle the money they’re repaid into new grants or PRIs.

Time flies when you are doing good work. The Danville Regional Foundation launched its Make It Happen! (MIH!) program in November 2010 to show that everybody can make a difference through incremental changes, no matter how small. Now, approximately 18 months later, we just awarded our 50th MIH! Grant.

On the heels of Foundations on the Hill and many blogs on the topic, some of you may be scratching your heads asking, can a foundation really talk to legislators, educate them about the issues important to your foundation’s mission, and advocate to better position philanthropy?

The short answer is: While there are limitations, private foundations and public charities can engage in a variety of advocacy activity. Here is just a sampling:

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