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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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.
The Council on Foundations public policy priorities for 2020-2021 include: Federal Tax Regulations, Encouraging Charitable Giving, Post-Graduation Scholarships, and Johnson Amendment.
Read the latest UN and Country Regulatory updates, Global Philanthropy & Development News, and more.
When the Council on Foundations published A Call to Action: Philanthropy’s Commitment during COVID-19 in March, the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages. Now, its impact has surpassed many of our worst fears, and an economic recession and long-standing racial injustices add to this moment of crisis. Foundations continue to strive to shift their practices across the world to improve how they work with their nonprofit partners and how to respond to crises. This blog explores how listening to communities can help global foundations respond to these challenging times, even those many miles removed from the communities they serve.
For 40 years the Council has provided the most comprehensive analysis of salary and benefits for full-time staff at U.S. foundations through the Grantmaker Salary and Benefits (GSB) Report. This year the GSB Key Findings looks back on 5 years of demographic data and reveals that we have miles (and miles) to go to advance the field’s commitment to diversity.