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.

Investment returns at private foundations rose to an average of 15.6 percent in 2013 – the second-straight year of double-digit average returns – according to the 2013 Council on Foundations-Commonfund Study of Investments for Private FoundationsTM (CCSF).

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

  • House Bill is a Big Win for Foundations
  • Community Foundations are "Coming Home"
  • Finalists Announced for 2014 Council Awards Program
  • Take Part in the #CF100 Video Contest
  • Philanthropy and Unaccompanied Children on the US Border
  • And More!

Read it all, available online!

This afternoon, the United States House of Representatives passed an important legislative package impacting philanthropy, the “America Gives More Act of 2014” (H.R. 4719), with a bipartisan super-majority vote of 277-130.

While a sizable number of Democrats voted against the bill because of concerns over how to pay for these provisions, they nonetheless expressed support for the policies advanced by the charitable provisions in the bill.

When we face a new challenge, one of our first instincts is to reach out to someone for advice. By collaborating, sharing resources, and discussing common challenges, you and your peers multiply your impact and advance the common good.

The Council on Foundations invites you to participate in the 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey, one of the most important and effective foundation management tools in the field. The survey collects information on benefits policies and practices, as well as compensation data for 35 positions at community, corporate, private, public, and operating foundations. The Council’s online platform, Benchmark Central (bmc.cof.org), enables survey participants to benchmark themselves against their peers by grantmaker type, asset size, state, or region.

In this week's issue, you'll read about:

  • Continue the Conversation - 2014 Annual Conference Recap
  • Sherry Magill Elected Council Board Chair
  • Vote in 2014 Council Awatds Program
  • Monitor Insitute Launches the What's Next for Community Philanthropy Toolkit

Read all this and more with This Week at the Council!

Thank you, Good afternoon. I think we all have a thing or two to learn from amazing students like these. 

I’m grateful to Gwen and the News Literacy Project for an enlightening discussion and for joining us here today. And, thanks to all of you for joining us at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Council on Foundations: Philanthropy Exchange!

Many of you have traveled a long way to be with us. We have leaders from as far away as Anchorage and Australia, from Baton Rouge to Tanzania.

The Council on Foundations today announced the release of the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, the most comprehensive information available on staff composition and compensation for U.S. foundations. This year’s report benefited from an increased response rate and will now provide more detailed information and data for the largest foundations.

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

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