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.

This sector-wide survey provides salary, benefits, and diversity data for U.S. grantmaking organizations to aid in budget planning and personnel practice benchmarking.
This report from the Council on Foundations and the Kettering Foundation summarizes a two-day symposium the two organizations convened in May 2018 to wrestle with these questions. A group of prominent foundation leaders working at the national, state, and community levels explored how philanthropy can narrow the gap between people and institutions, strengthen public engagement, build civic capacity, and generally bolster democratic norms and practices in the United States.
Read updates from the hill including a bill passed to redesign the IRS, the Status of Government Grant and Contracting Reforms, and more
This Tech Bar is presented by the Council on Foundations.
Karabi Acharya of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation discusses the importance of maintaining a global view for problem-solving as a grantmaker.
Read the latest news from the hill including info on a new donor advised funds bill being introduced in California.
We announced our work to reimagine Council membership and asked for feedback as we review Council membership and dues. More than 400 individuals – representing grantmaking organizations of different types, sizes, geographies, and member status – responded to our survey and shared ideas. Natalie Ross discusses what we learned from the responses.