Private Operating Foundations

Operating foundations are private foundations that use the bulk of their income to provide charitable services or to run charitable programs of their own. They make few, if any, grants to outside organizations. To qualify as an operating foundation, specific rules, in addition to the applicable rules for private foundations, must be followed.

Below is everything on our site for private operating 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.

Recent letters to Government Officials that the Council has signed on to.
Updated information about the impact of 2021 Winter Storms and resources for foundations.
Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors published the "Impact Investing Handbook: An Implementation Guide for Practitioners"—180 pages of helping asset owners turn interest into action. Two years in the making, this practical publication features case studies and detailed guidance for individuals, families, foundations, and corporations. Written by Steven Godeke of Godeke Consulting and Patrick Briaud of RPA, it features input from over fifty experts and practitioners.
The COVID-19 global pandemic defined 2020, and it will continue to impact much of the world in the foreseeable future. How did grantmakers and donors respond as communities worldwide struggled – especially Black, Indigenous, and people of color as well as other populations that have been systemically marginalized and underserved – amid the pandemic’s impact on livelihoods, health, education, and more?
Developed out of a trending conversation on the Philanthropy Exchange (PhilEx), the Council invites you to join a peer-led discussion of how foundations are supporting internet access for students and families as schools, businesses, and communities struggle with the impacts of COVID-19.
Earlier this year, the Council on Foundations issued a COVID-19 Call to Action to its community of domestic and international funders, asking foundations to provide unrestricted funding to grantee organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. This call to action prompted a timely discussion with several of Give2Asia’s funding partners about the trade-offs of offering unrestricted funding generally. We continue to welcome these conversations and encourage funders and other intermediaries to consider whether general support grantmaking needs renewed focus as a best practice.
The Global Goals Mapping Tool is a comprehensive resource that maps giving and volunteerism using both the IRS National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE) codes and the United Nations International Classification of Nonprofit Organizations (ICNPO) codes to classify the activity and programs of charities and connect them to the SDGs.
The Council on Foundations today announced the appointment of four nonprofit leaders to its Board of Directors, as well as the renomination of two current members for a second term. New members include: Martha I. Jimenez, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of The California Endowment; Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation; Jennifer Ford Reedy, President of the Bush Foundation; and Mai-Anh Tran, Chief Financial Officer of the Ford Foundation.
Hate-related violence has been on the rise for several years in the U.S., as have extremist groups whose work targets specific communities based on race, ethnicity, and other characteristics. Even before the recent violent attempt to take over the U.S. Capitol raised these issues to a new level of awareness, our members have been actively engaged in finding ways to make sure that their values of fairness and equity are reflected in their funding practices. Over the past few years, members have shared their approaches and asked for additional resources in addressing these issues, especially the funding of hate groups that operate as legitimate 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.