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.

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In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Council, News from the Hill, Executive and Regulatory Affairs and Happening in the States.
Answers to questions about participating in the Ask Me Anything taking place December 7, 2020 from 1-2 p.m. on the Philanthropy Exchange.
This year the Council will host a series of virtual events that will offer members the opportunity to hear directly from Council leaders and peers on some of philanthropy’s most important challenges and opportunities. We hope these free events will provide connection, insight, and inspiration for the future.
The Council on Foundations joins all Americans in expecting a careful accounting of all votes and an expeditious and certain outcome in the 2020 Presidential election. Whatever the result, we are heartened by the historic turnout because a healthy democracy depends on robust participation from citizens.
Two new laws in Nicaragua, The Law for the Regulation of Foreign Agents and The Special Law on Cybercrimes, will fundamentally reshape how foreign funders can support Nicaraguan nonprofits and how civic space is regulated in the country.
Do you have a question about the strategic direction of the Council? Curious how the team is managing in uncertain times? Or just want to get to know the team better? This is the time to ask us anything.
End the week with an hour of wellness and networking. The wellness activity will be a resiliency themed meditation led by our partners at Chill Anywhere. Following the meditation, we will play a fun game of trivia and host networking breakout rooms to connect members across interest, roles, and opportunities. This will be a fun and casual event for all staff members!
Sponsors for the 2020 Public Policy Summit.
Earlier this year, the Council on Foundations issued a COVID-19 Call to Action to its community of domestic and international funders, asking foundations to provide unrestricted funding to grantee organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This call to action prompted a timely discussion with several of Give2Asia’s funding partners about the trade-offs of offering unrestricted funding generally. We continue to welcome these conversations and encourage funders and other intermediaries to consider whether general support grantmaking needs renewed focus as a best practice.
The Annual Member Meeting is the kickoff event for Member Week. The Member Meeting will start with a keynote remarks from Fred Blackwell, CEO of San Francisco Foundation, and conclude with a brief Member Meeting where Kathleen Enright, Council President & CEO, will share the State of the Council and members will vote on the new additions to the Board of Directors.