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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Learn about planned concurrent sessions for Leading Together 2021.
These Leading Together 2021 sessions will focus on sharing the best practices, resources, and tools for philanthropic leaders to be agents of change in their organizations and communities.
These Leading Together 2021 sessions will feature diverse voices on issues such as inclusive economic prosperity, racial injustice, income equality and values aligned philanthropy.
These Leading Together 2021 sessions will spark conversations that challenge philanthropy to bridge divides, explore unlikely partnerships and engage with different points of view.
Developed out of a trending conversation on the Philanthropy Exchange (PhilEx), the Council invites you to join a peer-led discussion around accepting cryptocurrency gifts.