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.

A collection of podcasts and publications from the Center for Court Innovation.

A collection of case studies, strategies and reports from the National League of Cities.

A collection of publications, news articles, and issue papers on gun violence from the Foundation Center.

This collection of resources provides ideas, best practices and lessons learned about what works in violence prevention — for those who would like to be part of the solution

This Toolkit was developed to support cities in developing youth violence prevention plans by building partnerships, taking an inventory of local resources and assets, and designing strategies, based on local data, that address the nature of youth violence and its causes. The goal is to create a multi-year plan that continues to guide the city’s efforts after the implementation phase begins.

This publication from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explores the history of violence and the reasons why it has become a greater focus for public health in recent decades.

In this video from TEDMED 2013, epidemiologist Gary Slutkin of Cure Violence says the issue has been misdiagnosed, and instead created science-based strategies that aim to stop violence before it erupts.

The Council is actively working to build connections among U.S. and global foundations that are addressing problems and advancing change around the world. For more than 20 years, we have played a key role in facilitating responsible and effective international grantmaking. We also advocate on behalf of foundations to urge the U.S. government to reduce the barriers to cross-border philanthropy and support the development of philanthropy as an essential part of a strengthened global civil society.

What is global philanthropy?

The Center for Disaster Philanthropy has an excellent primer of basic tips for disaster giving that can help funders ask the right questions about how they can help.

This issue brief from the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN) details the motivations, benefits, considerations and suitable scenarios behind the use of catalytic first-loss capital in impact investing transactions. Catalytic first-loss capital refers to socially- and environmentally-driven credit enhancement provided by an investor or grant-maker who agrees to bear first losses in an investment in order to catalyze the participation of co-investors that otherwise would not have entered the deal.