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.

The Charitable Giving Coalition (CGC) urged Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the major party nominees for President of the United States, to support the full preservation of the charitable deduction in a letter the coalition sent to the candidates this week. Along with preserving the charitable deduction, the coalition pressed the candidates to support additional charitable giving incentives.

Registration is now open for the Council on Foundations’ 2017 Annual Conference — Leading Together — in Dallas, Texas, April 23-26, 2017. The Council’s annual conference is the premier event for the philanthropic sector, and Leading Together promises to be an immersive, thought-provoking experience dedicated to exploring the essential role that philanthropy plays in society to create transformational change.

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the application period for its flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, is open now through October 31, 2016. Through Career Pathways, the Council seeks to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline and develop a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations and the broader philanthropic sector.

Hello, and welcome to New York City. I want to thank you for coming to our second annual Summit focused on finance and endowments.

Today, the Council on Foundations welcomes more than 200 foundation chief executive officers, chief financial officers, chief investment officers, board members, and board investment committee leaders from across the country to its annual Endowments and Finance Summit.

Today, the United States became the first high-income nation to join Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ghana as pilot countries in the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The global SDG Philanthropy Platform, managed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Foundation Center, and UNDP, brings together foundations and philanthropists across the world to build partnerships between philanthropic organizations, the United Nations, governments, civil society, and business to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The 2016 Salary Tables provide aggregate information on staff salaries among U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs. This data is typically used by foundations to make staffing decisions and provide appropriate compensation for new hires or existing employees. The 2016 Salary Tables include compensation data from nearly 10,000 full-time employees from the 1,010 organizations that participated in the 2016 survey. Responses came from across the country and the tables examine compensation by position, type of foundation, asset size, and region.

Data gathered in the 2015 Council on Foundations–Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations® (CCSF) show that participating private foundations reported an average return of 0.0 percent for the 2015 fiscal year (January 1 – December 31, 2015), down from the 6.1 percent return reported for FY2014, while participating community foundations reported an average annual return of -1.8 percent compared with 4.8 percent for FY

The CCSF is the most comprehensive and authoritative annual survey of its kind on foundation investment and governance practices, and provides data for the benefit of foundation trustees and staff, as well as the larger community of grantees, policymakers and stakeholders. The 228 foundations participating in the 2015 CCSF represent $100.6 billion in assets. One hundred thirty private and 98 community foundations make up the Study, which covers the 2015 fiscal year (January 1-December 31, 2015). Topics covered in the Study include:

A new report released today by the Council on Foundations highlights the critical role that U.S. philanthropy plays in helping to realize the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The study, “From Global Goals to Local Impact,” outlines in detail how the new global development framework is universally applicable to the work of U.S. foundations, and presents concrete ways in which funders can integrate the SDGs into their domestic grantmaking.