Independent Foundations

Private foundations make grants based on charitable endowments. The endowment funds come from one or a small handful of sources -- an individual, a family or a corporation. Because of their endowments, they are focused primarily on grantmaking and generally do not raise funds or seek public financial support the way public charities (like community foundations) must.

Private independent foundations are distinct from private family or corporate foundations in that an independent foundation is not governed by the benefactor, the benefactor’s family or a corporation. Of the largest private foundations in the United States, most are independent foundations, although they may have begun as family foundations or were converted from corporate foundations. There is no official IRS or legal definition of independent foundations, so it is difficult to arrive at statistics that are fully representative of the field.

Below is everything on our site for independent foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

Occasionally a foundation may be asked to make a grant payable to a fiscal sponsor or fiscal agent acting on behalf of a charitable grantee. In some instances, the intended grantee may not be a legal entity or qualified 501(c)(3) public charity and a fiscal sponsor is necessary to facilitate the grant. Grantmakers needs to understand what this means and make a fully informed decision about whether granting to an agent or sponsor is right for them. Please join Council on Foundations attorney, Bryan J.

Bridging Divides IconNo matter our political persuasion, most of us can agree that America is a divided nation. Elected officials, political parties and the media often fan the flames of division, leaving our nation more angry and our citizens more isolated from each other. What is the role of our sector during these contentious, difficult times?

Interested in the Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report? Join Council staff for a demonstration of the survey process and learn how you can participate in this important resource for the field.

Urban Institute will feature three cases of innovative tools designed to make big data more easily accessible to decision makers: 1) Public Good Projects' Social Media data tool for the Opioid Crisis; 2) Urban Institute Education Data Portal; and National Center on Charitable Statistics Nonprofit Sector in Brief.

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Genetic information is a powerful tool used to help us uncover key mechanisms responsible for slowing or stopping the progression of Parkinson’s disease, ultimately improving care and speeding development of new treatments. Join Parkinson’s Foundation’s Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President, James Beck, Ph.D., to discover and discuss PD GENEration: Mapping the Future of Parkinson’s Disease — a game-changing initiative for those affected by the disease, as well as those who invest in research toward a cure.

Experience an art-filled interactive discussion around our new research series on changing practices and structures in response to shifting notions of power in philanthropy. We will share early research results on questions like: What practices help to ensure equitable grantmaking outcomes? What evidence-based strategies exist for incorporating lived experience alongside data? We also want to hear from you, about what moments of promise you want to share, or how are you balancing competing priorities in this "new power" era in philanthropy, and what research questions are on your mind.

Getting to know and trust a grantee that is thousands of miles away and operates in a foreign legal context can be daunting. Join this session to learn about: understanding what tools you have at your disposal for conducting due diligence on your grantees, identifying any red flags during that due diligence and going beyond a checklist approach.

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Want to support causes around the world? Join this session to get practical tips on: starting an international grantmaking program, understanding how to make cross-border grants, deciding on what type of beneficiaries you want to support, and choosing between Expenditure Responsibility (ER) or Equivalency Determination (ED).

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Supported and Presented by CAF America

An overview of charitable giving in Brazil.