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 past Friday a diverse group of philanthropic leaders gathered in New York City to discuss the unexpected election results, what those results mean for our nation and what they mean for our work, both individually and as a sector. The meeting, convened by the Council on Foundations and hosted by the Ford Foundation, included representatives of private foundations, community foundations and corporate grant makers who came from all four time zones of the country. As you will see from the notes below, the group was diverse in every way, including diversity of perspective.

View from space of sunrise over the earth

2017 will be a year of change, as orthodoxies in the field get tested and philanthropy steps up and into a more prominent national role.


In early December 2016, the Chinese government released the official and final version of their new Guidelines on Organizational Registration and Temporary Activities Reporting. These guidelines provide needed information for compliance with the 2016 Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China (Overseas NGO Law).

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Update on Tax Reform Progression in the Senate
  • Charitable Giving Coalition Sends Letter to President-elect Trump
  • Final Chinese Overseas NGO Law Guidelines Released
  • States Acting to Address Budget Challenges
  • Princeton Settlement Spawns Copycat Property Tax Exemption Challenge

American Flag

The American public is divided in its attitudes toward important national issues, and historic allegiances have shifted.


Abraham Lincoln

"In this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed." ~ Abraham Lincoln


An elephant with

Banksy's Elephant in a Room. Ignore it at your peril.


Kids on laptops

Minding the Gaps: Jobs, Income & Wealth