Public Foundations

Public foundations are grantmaking public charities that gain their funds from a variety of sources, which may include foundations, individuals, corporations, or public entities. Public foundations may engage in fundraising, and may seek broad public financial support. They may or may not have endowments. There is no legal definition of a public foundation, but most dedicate a significant portion of their annual budgets to grantmaking. Most community foundations are also grantmaking public charities.

Since public foundations may be defined in different ways, and there is no official IRS or legal definition of public foundations, it is difficult to arrive at statistics that are fully representative of the field.

Below is everything on our site for public foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

Philanthropy has responded to COVID-19 like no other crisis in recent memory. Through increased giving, reduced restrictions, and a deeper focus on listening to communities and partners, foundations, many of whom signed the Pledge, have stepped up in this moment of crisis. Now, a year later, questions arise as to which of these practices will become the “new normal”, while many still ask what more can be done. Join the Council on Foundations to hear from a range of speakers from different philanthropic organizations on how COVID-19 has reshaped their work and what they think the future entails for philanthropy.
This sector-wide survey provides salary, benefits, and diversity data for U.S. grantmaking organizations to aid in budget planning and personnel practice benchmarking.
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.
Leading Together 2021 is the destination to engage in transformative conversations about how philanthropy can do our part to create a better world. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that there is no time to waste in tackling the biggest challenges of our time—from eliminating economic inequality, to addressing climate change, to healing deep divisions to create equity for all. Submit a session proposal to share your knowledge and expertise with attendees.
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.