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.

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.

Strengthening Local Communities to Achieve Global Goals

Overview

There are significant challenges facing communities in the Southwest, including racial inequality in education, economic opportunities and health outcomes.

An intimate group of thought leaders from the higher education, philanthropic and corporate sectors will come together for a unique convening designed to explore the impact of implicit bias on leadership and operational excellence.

This convening will seek to accomplish the following objectives:

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

Members, access the recording.

This webinar will help our private foundation members understand the rules for how they can participate in public policy advocacy. You will have a chance to listen to researchers from TCC documenting lessons from public policy advocacy campaigns supported by philanthropy.  Consider how your foundation can add value to public policy advocacy and stay within the rules.