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.
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In April 2017, the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange, a veterans funders’ network hosted by the Council on Foundations, devoted a portion of its fifth annual convening to discuss what interests, challenges, and needs might drive a future agenda in veterans’ philanthropy. While the deliberation process continues around the idea of a national agenda for the sector, this document summarizes insights and ideas from that recent discussion, and is intended to contribute philanthropic thought for the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-To/National Veterans Convening on June 22-23, 2017.
“White Oak” is the informal name used to denote a series of conferences originally titled “America Joins Forces for Military Families” and initially held at the White Oak plantation in Jacksonville, FL in 2010 and 2012. White Oak retreats encourage creative thinking, collaboration and relationship-building across sectors in support of military members, veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors among the major non-profit military service organizations, related government offices, and other key philanthropic partners and contributors to this cause.