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.

The administrative costs of operating a private foundation often prove too burdensome and can easily swamp the grantmaking activity of private foundations, especially the smaller ones. As such, a foundation may decide to transfer its assets to a Sponsoring Organization to take advantage of the administrative efficiencies of using a donor advised fund, all the while supporting its exempt purpose.

The Council on Foundations has named Ruth LaToison Ifill as its new Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. She will lead efforts to develop and implement strategic initiatives, tools, educational programs and opportunities that foster a culture of diversity, equity and inclusion among philanthropic organizations.

Sponsors

The Council would like to thank all of the sponsors for their support of the 2018 Endowments & Finance Summit.

If you would like to learn more about becoming a sponsor, contact Sheden Alsaaty at sheden.alsaaty@cof.org or 703-879-0616.

Independent Sector and the Council on Foundations applaud the introduction of the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act, which would expand giving, help civil society flourish, and allow the charitable sector to expand its impact in communities across the country.

The bill was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) and cosponsored by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX).