Private 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 foundation” is the umbrella term that includes corporate, independent, family, and operating foundations.  As of 2011, there were 73,764 private foundations in the United States (Foundation Center, 2011).  

In 2011, private foundations held more than $604 billion in assets and gave away more than $45 billion (Foundation Center, 2011).  

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

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Senate begins debate on health care, tax reform continues moving forward
  • Update on Treasury personnel
  • President Trump issues EO for Commerce Department
  • In the States: State budgets remain in flux, NYC arts funding plan to promote diversity
  • Johnson Amendment is subject of blog post

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.

The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic Sector CoverThe Council’s report, The State of Change: An Analysis of Women and People of Color in the Philanthropic Sector, examines the demographics of the philanthropic sector, looking back over the last five and ten years, with a specific focus on th

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.

Award Nominations

The Council is currently accepting nominations for the 2017 Robert W. Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking. Nominate a courageous leader and innovative grantmaker today.

For the last three years, I’ve noticed a growing trend in community foundations asking for support to make international grants, often from donor or corporate advised funds.

In May, I invited the Council on Foundations' private foundation members to participate in a survey to help me gather information that will shape future Council programming tailored to private foundations. The results of the survey identified several areas of interest and need.

Participants answered two main questions:

  1. What topics would you most like to learn about or discuss at an event?
  2. What are the top three challenges you are facing right now?

 The topics which received the most interest are: 

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Council submits tax reform comments to Senate Finance Committee
  • Tax Reform Update: House committee approves budget, takes first legislative step towards tax reform
  • Senate Finance Committee to consider Mr. Kautter’s nomination today
  • In the States: Michigan court clarifies property tax exemption; California nonprofits object to burdensome contracting legislation

It’s not every day you get to meet with the CEO of an influential nonprofit, but for the Council’s interns, we had the extraordinary pleasure to sit down with Mary McClymont, the President and CEO of the Public Welfare Foundation.