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.

Updated information about the impact of Hurricane Laura on communities and resources for foundations.
Updated information about the impact of 2020 California Wildfires and resources for foundations.
Updated information about the impact of severe storms during Spring 2020 and resources for foundations.
Speakers for the 2020 HR Retreat.
Schedule for the 2020 HR Retreat.
In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Hill, Executive and Regulatory Affairs and Happening in the States.
The health and economic impact of COVID-19 has continued to ripple through communities across the country and the world. Congress is discussing additional legislation to address some of the challenges faced by workers, businesses, nonprofits, and communities. Hear from experts about how provisions being discussed may impact the charitable sector. For any questions please reach out to govt@cof.org. A reminder this conversation is off the record.
Council on Foundations is committed to keeping the Career Pathways core value of community, equity, learning, and development present. This community-building hour is a virtual opportunity for Alumni to connect, reflect, share, or discuss. For more information about Career Pathways leadership development program, visit cof.org/careerpathways
In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Hill and Happening in the States.
Recording of webinar that featured Congressional experts discussing how COVID-19 provisions may impact the charitable sector.