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.

Due to the large number of resources on our website, we highly recommend you use the site navigation or the search feature to find what you are looking for.

COVID-19 has had a substantial impact on philanthropy and the way it does business. In the wake of this global pandemic, foundations took immediate action to do more – pledging to support nonprofit partners, people and communities hit hardest by the impacts of the virus. To highlight both the opportunities and the challenges global foundations face in shifting their practices, we are sharing blogs throughout the Fall from global funders who strive to do better despite the barriers.
Summary of Funder Roundtable on Indian FCRA Amendments held on September 30, 2020.
In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Council, the Hill, Executive and Regulatory Affairs and Happening in the States.
The Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report (GSB) provides salary, benefits, and diversity data for full-time staff at U.S. foundations to aid in budget planning and personnel practice benchmarking. Information is presented by grantmaker type, foundation type, asset size, and geographic location.
In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Council, the Hill, Executive and Regulatory Affairs and Happening in the States.
Join the Council on Foundations and the International Center for Not-for-profit Law (ICNL) as the amendments are discussed and learn from peer funders about how the changes to FCRA will impact your work.
A new law signed on September 28, 2020 will greatly tighten and restrict the existing Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA). FCRA is the cornerstone law that regulates how nonprofits in India can receive foreign funding, including from U.S.-based foundations and corporations.
A new report from Council on Foundations, Philanthropy California, and Dalberg Advisors outlines how the US philanthropic sector is responding to the 2020 crises — and the opportunities to shift practices and share power to enable communities and the industry to #BuildBackBetter.
The CCSF report is the field’s most comprehensive and authoritative study on investment and governance policies and practices. The 2019 CCSF studies 265 private and community foundations that represent $104.7 billion in assets.
In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Hill, Executive and Regulatory Affairs and Happening in the States.