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.

Below is everything on our site for independent foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

Despite concerted efforts by the field to advance more diverse, inclusive, and equitable recruitment and retention practices, the proportions of women and racial/ethnic minorities on foundation staff and at the most senior levels of leadership has changed very little over the past five and 10 years, finds a new report from the Council on Foundations.

We wanted to share this important breaking news on the status of tax reform legislation. As you know, in Washington, D.C., things can change quickly. Just last week, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady said that the tax reform framework document should be done in early September. However, yesterday House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that the tax reform framework will be released later this week. The expectation is that the House Ways and Means Committee will take that framework and turn it into a tax reform bill.

The 2017 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey is now open. This annual survey is one of the most important and effective resources for our members and for the field and we encourage you to participate.

Data gathered in the 2016 Council on Foundations–Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations® (CCSF) show that participating private foundations reported an average return of 6.4 percent for the 2016 fiscal year (January 1 – December 31, 2016) while participating community foundations reported an average return of 7.3 percent for the same period. (All return data are reported net of fees.)

The largest and most comprehensive report in the United States on grantmaker staff composition and compensation was released today by the Council on Foundations and highlighted a lingering age gap that exists within the philanthropic sector.

Today, the Council on Foundations released the following statement from President and CEO Vikki Spruill:

Today, the Council on Foundations released the following statement from President and CEO Vikki Spruill:

“Today’s White House statement on its tax reform position clarifies the first step in what will be a long process towards meaningful tax reform. We are especially pleased to see the White House recognize the importance of the charitable deduction. We look forward to seeing even greater clarity from the White House in the coming months on its position.

The Council on Foundations opened its Annual Conference in Dallas, Texas, this week with a special address from President George W. Bush. He talked about the current work of the George W.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Council on Foundations (COF) today announced the winners of the 2017 HUD Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.