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.

As We Look Forward

2019 is an important year for the Council on Foundations. Above all, we are committed to thinking creatively (and responsively) about how we best serve Council members.

A first step under the leadership of Kathleen Enright is a comprehensive review and analysis of the Council’s membership structures and dues, to ensure we are ready to achieve our mission: advancing the work of our members and the philanthropic sector.

According to The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s recent Strengthening Grantees Report, there is a gap between the support foundations provide and the support nonprofits actually need, which is pervasive and challenging to overcome. Can funders support grantees’ actual needs when nonprofits do not directly communicate it?

As we work to create change within communities and within systems, we must also strengthen how we leverage political advocacy in order to be effective. In this plenary, public and private sector leaders will discuss tools, tactics, and strategies for building and wielding political power to support social change on the key issues facing America and the world today. We will close the conference by focusing on timely and relevant topics, including the movement for gender equality and an end to sexual misconduct in the workplace, the national opioid crisis, and criminal justice reform.

The CDFI Fund has identified over 41,000 population census tracts that are eligible for designation as a QOZ, including (1) 31,680 population census tracts that are Low-Income Communities (LICs) eligible for designation as QOZs; and (2) 9,453 non-LIC population census tracts that are eligible for designation if a particular LIC contiguous to the non-LIC tract is designated as a QOZ. Contiguous Tracts must be at or below 125% of the area median income.

Now that Opportunity Zones have been designated, individual and corporate investors are then given the opportunity to defer capital gains taxes when they reinvest the earnings in these communities. Additional incentives accrue over five, seven and ten years if the investment is maintained – thereby promoting the kind of patient capital that distressed communities so often lack. Get more of the resources you need to learn about Opportunity Zones from the US Impact Investing Alliance.

The OZ program is intended to spur long-term investments in low-income census tracts in the U.S. The new law allows investors to place unrealized capital gains (a profit from an investment that hasn’t yet been sold) into authorized O Funds that invest capital into OZs. The greatest benefits would go to investors who invest for 10 or more years. Learn more from the Mission Investors Exchange about the benefits, risks, and potential of opportunity zones.

With the creation of the federal Opportunity Zones incentive program, trillions of dollars in new private investment will flow into pre-designated low-income communities around the country. But will this investment benefit the people living in these communities now, or will they be displaced as new interest and development brings increased property values and rents? And what kind of development will result —unsustainable, car-dependent sprawl (the dominant growth paradigm in the United States today) or walkable, mixed-use communities with a variety of housing options for everyone?

Treasury and IRS have issued an initial set of proposed regulations and guidance on how the Qualified Opportunity Zone tax benefits under IRC 1400Z-2 (including the certification of Qualified Opportunity Funds and eligible investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones) will be administered.

Led by Bryan Del Rosario, Staff Counsel for the Council on Foundations, and Lindsay Mason, Director of Corporate Philanthropy, this workshop is organized to ensure common legal questions for administering grants, board governance and charitable giving activities are addressed. Bryan will provide technical and practical understanding of complex rules and regulations impacting private and corporate foundations/giving programs.