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.

At our Chicago learning session, I was inspired by the approaches of colleagues from the MacArthur, Kellogg, Joyce, Grand Victoria, and California Wellness foundations, alongside friends from BoardSource and the Council on Foundations. Over the course of three days, these brilliant women (yes, they were all women!) tackled various aspects of organizational leadership: being the CEO, managing board relationships, re-imagining grantmaking processes and tools, leading organizational change, tackling investments and finances, communicating effectively, and understanding key legal issues in the field.
During the United Nations General Assembly in late September, Heads of State, government officials, civil society, and the philanthropic and commercial private sector are convening in New York with a focus on Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC is a key part of Sustainable Development Goal 3 and a shared commitment by United Nations member states to ensure everyone has access to health services without undue financial hardship. The vision is lofty and worthy, but the barriers are plentiful.
The world faces pressing challenges that require global responses – the climate crisis, entrenched inequality, migration, and more. But with international cooperation increasingly at risk, actions taken at the local level are ever more vital.
After working in the philanthropic field for the past 10 years, the Council on Foundations Career Pathways Program gave me the opportunity—and frankly the time—to seriously consider being an executive leader in the sector. It’s not something I could always see for myself.
Updated information about Hurricane Dorian's impact and resources for foundations.
An overview of charitable giving in India by Charities Aid Foundation.
Several years ago, the Council on Foundations Board made a decision that I have felt for some time needed to be revisited. We voted to approve a new membership model that we thought would ensure long term financial health for the Council. The outcome of that decision, however, did not play out in the manner we anticipated. In fact, the new dues structure had an adverse impact on a number of our members, particularly small and medium sized foundations as well as community foundations, many of whom were priced out of the Council community. While this was never the Board’s intention, we take responsibility for causing these valued members to feel alienated from the Council community.
2019 Endowments & Finance Summit Attendee list.
The CCSF report is the field’s most comprehensive and authoritative study on investment and governance policies and practices. The 2018 CCSF studied over 230 private and community foundations that represent over $89.3 billion in assets.
Read the latest UN and Country Regulatory updates, Global Philanthropy & Development News, and more.