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.

This is a sample foundation investment policy.

Tips and ideas on file management.

This sample grant file index allows you to see the types of information which your foundation may need to keep on each of your grantees.

A program for orienting new trustees is an indispensable step for foundations to maximize the value and benefits of their boards.

This customizable sample expenditure report allows you to track expenditures by grantees.

This sample docket allows you to customize your program goal and strategies.

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.