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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The Council on Foundations (the Council) today announced that its membership has approved the appointment of three philanthropic executives to its board of directors: Srikanth Gopal, Managing Partner of Humanity United; Galen Maness, Chief Operating Officer of the San Francisco Foundation; and Jay Williams, President and CEO of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
The Council on Foundations today announced the selection of 51 philanthropy professionals for participation in Career Pathways, a leadership development program designed to diversify the talent pipeline for executive-level roles in Philanthropy.
2021 was a year of focus and renewal for the Council on Foundations. Guided by a new 20-year vision for the sector, we collaborated with our member community to create lasting impact through knowledge products, field training programs, and more.
Updated information about the impact of December 2021 Tornadoes on communities and resources for foundations.
Anne Vela-Wagner of the Mars Wrigley Foundation
2021 Membership Week Q&A Foundation Leader Blog Series - Jen Rainin