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 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. 

As you prepare to close out grants, this customizable checklist can help ensure you've received the appropriate documents from grantees.

This customizable sample closing letter may be sent to grantees upon the conclusion of their grant.

This sample grant close-out form can help you wrap up outstanding grants.

The role of the foundation CEO is pivotal to the success of a foundation’s goals. Even at foundations without a staff, the tasks of the CEO do not disappear, but rather are carried out by board members. In this publication, we explore some of the critical issues and challenges foundation CEOs face in their daily work.

While philanthropy that crosses national borders has much in common with its domestic counterpart, it also differs in significant and challenging ways. Language differences, communication across vast distances, unfamiliar cultural values and perspectives, multiple legal systems, and disparate accounting practices are a few of the factors that distinguish international from local or national philanthropy and contribute to its complexity.