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.

My great aunt, Georgeanna Gibbs Browne, born in 1876 in Philadelphia, was a victim of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Her upbringing was church-going and “upper crust.” Newspaper clippings describe her twirling across dance floors at summer soirees and charity balls.

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened

How did we get it so wrong? (Photo Credit: Marco Verch / CC-BY-SA-4.0)


During my seven-year tenure as superintendent of Guilford County Schools, I was committed to listening to and learning from others. I listened to parents, teachers and students to understand what we could do in order to make our schools better for each child. Much of that listening and learning contributed to the development of the school district’s first-ever strategic plan, which through the work of many, resulted in notable student achievements, both academic and non-academic.

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened (green is open; red is closed). For those interested in social justice, democracy, and rights around the world, 2016 was an annus horribilis.


At the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, we’ve been talking about how to deal with minor successors being named on a fund. We started looking into it after reading a discussion about it on the Philanthropy Exchange. It’s a tricky situation: If your fund adviser is underage, they may not be in a position to correctly advise.

Today is World AIDS Day — a time for people all over the globe to remember those we have lost to HIV and to recommit ourselves to ending the AIDS epidemic once and for all. On this day, the Council on Foundations salutes the many individuals and organizations united in the fight against HIV and working to improve the lives of people living with HIV. The Levi Strauss Foundation is among those organizations working to put an end to the AIDS epidemic.

Hundreds of stories are amplified by the minute during #GivingTuesday. The global and social movement captures the hearts, minds, and spirits of many who look to philanthropy on this day.

On the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday puts the focus back on the giving season by harnessing the potential of social media to bring about positive change in communities and inspire more acts of kindness.

We all knew that November was going to be a tumultuous month (if you hadn't heard, there's an election today). When the polls close and the dust settles, the country could be set on one of a number of starkly different paths. Perhaps because of this uncertainty, President Obama took the opportunity to lift up one of the few truly bipartisan issues by declaring November National Entrepreneurship Month.

In this week's Washington Snapshot: