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. Due to the large number of resources on our website, we highly recommend you use the site navigation or the search feature to find what you are looking for.

Join the Council on Foundations to discuss our recently published white paper, which dives into the challenges facing the sector as foundations work to develop solutions that meet their needs. You’ll hear suggestions, recommendations, and next steps from our team and leaders in the field.
Listing of 2021 UNGA side-events that philanthropic and foundation leaders might be interested in attending.
The challenges of the past year have exacerbated inequities around the world and caused many of us in philanthropy to reflect on how we can change our own ways of working to be more effective partners in transforming societal systems for equity.
The CCSF report is the field’s most comprehensive and authoritative study on investment and governance policies and practices. The 2020 CCSF studies 260 private and community foundations that represent $115.4 billion in assets.
Updated information about the Afghanistan refugee crisis and philanthropy's response.
COVID-19 is leaving a long tail of psycho-social impacts from the variety of losses that people have experienced during the pandemic such as death, illness, housing and job insecurity, and absence of in-person treatment. Policymakers and funders need a sustained and intentional strategy to address these challenges as part of a holistic post-pandemic recovery.
Join Commonfund Institute and the Council on Foundations for a discussion of the results from the newly released 2020 Council on Foundations–Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations® (CCSF).
Join us for the Council on Foundations' virtual 2021 Public Policy Summit, where philanthropic leaders from across the country will get an insider’s view of the policy landscape in Washington, DC.
An M7.2 earthquake struck southwest Haiti on Aug. 14, leaving hundreds dead and causing widespread devastation, and Tropical Storm Grace is expected to pass over Haiti on Monday, Aug. 16, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is hosting a webinar to look at the impact of the earthquake and tropical storm. Speakers will share the latest information, including critical needs and gaps, and provide concrete takeaways for funders to effectively support relief and recovery efforts now underway.
Updated information about the impact of 2021 earthquake in Haiti and philanthropy's response.