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.

Council staff are back in D.C. after a whirlwind Annual Conference in Dallas last month, where we were joined by more than 1000 attendees from around the world. You can see conference highlights at cof.org/2017annual. Thank you to all of our global speakers and especially to our global conference sponsors: Walmart Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Hilton Foundation, Wallace Global Fund, and CAF America.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Ways and Means Committee holds hearings, Senate gears up for tax reform
  • Assistant Secretary for Tax Policy named
  • Hearing on IRS reform scheduled for tomorrow
  • In the States: state budgets passing but on shaky footing; Mainers seek block grant transparency

Three years ago, I met Charles Story at the Grants Managers Network annual conference in San Diego. He was a featured panelist on a session about Extreme Management — successfully leading teams in constantly changing organizational environments. I was so impressed with his insights that we would start working together the following year, and I soon learned that Charles was also an executive coach with the Council’s Career Pathways (CP) Program. When I heard about the program’s goals and curriculum, I was completely sold, and could hardly wait for its reboot in 2017.

Join us for the second webinar in a series called, “Lunch with Legal Counsel.” Suzanne Friday, Senior Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs at the Council on Foundation will review and explain IRS Code Section 4944: Taxes on investments which jeopardize charitable purpose and what it means for private foundations.

We will also explore the exceptions that have been created for mission and program-related investments using current examples from the field.

Members, Access the Recording

This webinar introduces an approach to investing for community impact as a shared strategic commitment from the different perspectives of the funder and the grantee nonprofit. Our experts offer best practices for high performance, and Huey & Angelina Wilson Foundation and the City School each share their journeys towards improving outcomes, clarifying specifically what they had to change to move in this direction.

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: Health care legislation passed the House — so what now for tax reform?
  • Private foundation excise tax simplification bill introduced in House
  • House Set to Hold Hearings on Tax Reform and IRS Reform
  • FBI Director, Census Director Are Out
  • Oklahoma Advocacy Averts a Cap on Charitable Deductions

The 2016 Administrative and Program Expense Tables provide foundations with tools to benchmark their expenses – charitable administrative, program service, and qualifying distributions – against peers in the field. Containing data collected through the Council’s 2016 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey, this report offers detailed breakdowns of the data by grantmaker type, staff size, geographic location, and asset group (note – this report does not examine fees associated with fund administration at community foundations).

In This Week's Edition of Snapshot…

  • BREAKING: House holding Johnson Amendment hearing today, President Trump signs EO
  • Tax Reform Update: White House releases tax plan, Congress continues toward health care and tax reform bills
  • Congress averts a government shutdown
  • President Trump’s first 100 days in office
  • Treasury, IRS release notice to submit comments on priority guidance plan
  • Council heads to Dallas for Annual Conference

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.