Public Foundations

Public foundations are grantmaking public charities that gain their funds from a variety of sources, which may include foundations, individuals, corporations, or public entities. Public foundations may engage in fundraising, and may seek broad public financial support. They may or may not have endowments. There is no legal definition of a public foundation, but most dedicate a significant portion of their annual budgets to grantmaking. Most community foundations are also grantmaking public charities.

Since public foundations may be defined in different ways, and there is no official IRS or legal definition of public foundations, it is difficult to arrive at statistics that are fully representative of the field.

Below is everything on our site for public foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

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

  • Philanthropy Week at the Council
  • Twitter Chat
  • Improving Social Impact Finance
  • Take Part in the Columbus Survey
  • Tweet of the Week

Find all of this and more in this weeks issue!

3 Ways to Bring Philanthropy Week to Your Community

Right now, over 200 leaders from across the philanthropic sector are uniting in Washington, D.C. to tell their lawmakers that thriving philanthropy builds thriving communities. As lawmakers contemplate comprehensive tax reform, individual changes to the tax code and the President’s FY2015 budget, we must ensure Washington understands that tax policy matters to philanthropy.

President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget yesterday, which sets forth the Administration’s spending and policy priorities for the coming year. The Budget presents a fiscal plan oriented around three White House priorities: accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and reducing deficits. To cover the cost of these proposals, the Administration seeks to close certain “tax loopholes” it views as providing particular benefit to the wealthy, such as the carried interest deduction.

Working in collaboration with the Center for American Progress, the Council co-hosted conversations among foundations, community development financial institutions, and investment firms about social impact bonds and Pay for Success. Out of these conversations, two issue briefs were created:

In this issue:

  • Chairman Camp Releases Tax Reform Proposal
  • Philanthropy Week Update
  • Council Submits Comments on Proposed 501(c)(4) Regulations
  • President highlights foundations' investments in My Brother's Keeper initiative announcement
  • State Activity

Read this issue!

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

  • Tax Policy Debate Heats Up
  • Philanthropy Week in Washington Final Preparations
  • Council Responds to Chairman Camp
  • Council to IRS: 501(c)(4) Rules Go Too Far
  • Twitter Chat on Friday, March 7, 12pm
  • Private Foundation Investment Study

Check it out now for all the details!

As President Obama presents his proposed budget and as Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, proposed policy changes could have a significant – and potentially harmful – impact on philanthropy’s effectiveness. That’s why the Council on Foundations is pleased to welcome nearly 150 leaders from throughout the philanthropic sector for the first annual Philanthropy Week in Washington March 3-7, 2014.

This afternoon Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI-4), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released a comprehensive plan to reform the individual and corporate tax codes. Find details of the proposed bill here:

Executive Summary

Summary of Bill

In this week's issue:

  • Senate Philanthropy Caucus Briefing During Philanthropy Week
  • Camp tax reform plan expected next week
  • More tax extenders buzz
  • Polarized views on IRS political activity rules
  • IRS 2013 Changes to Form 990-PF
  • State Activity

Read the full issue today!

In this week's This Week at the Council you'll read about:

  • Gearing Up for Philanthropy Week in Washington
  • Reminder: Call For Sessions
  • Video: Creating Effective Stories Lawmakers Will Remember
  • Community Foundations Use Information to Drive Impact
  • Deadline Extended: Field Comment on National Standards Revisions

Read the full issue now.

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