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.

Updated information about the Afghanistan refugee crisis and philanthropy's response.
COVID-19 is leaving a long tail of psycho-social impacts from the variety of losses that people have experienced during the pandemic such as death, illness, housing and job insecurity, and absence of in-person treatment. Policymakers and funders need a sustained and intentional strategy to address these challenges as part of a holistic post-pandemic recovery.
Join Commonfund Institute and the Council on Foundations for a discussion of the results from the newly released 2020 Council on Foundations–Commonfund Study of Investment of Endowments for Private and Community Foundations® (CCSF).
Join us for the Council on Foundations' virtual 2021 Public Policy Summit, where philanthropic leaders from across the country will get an insider’s view of the policy landscape in Washington, DC.
An M7.2 earthquake struck southwest Haiti on Aug. 14, leaving hundreds dead and causing widespread devastation, and Tropical Storm Grace is expected to pass over Haiti on Monday, Aug. 16, bringing heavy rains and strong winds. The Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) is hosting a webinar to look at the impact of the earthquake and tropical storm. Speakers will share the latest information, including critical needs and gaps, and provide concrete takeaways for funders to effectively support relief and recovery efforts now underway.
Updated information about the impact of 2021 earthquake in Haiti and philanthropy's response.
We are in a moment of dramatic change and re-imagining, what my friend the futurist Ari Wallach calls “The Intertidal”: a significant shift in global human culture and narrative, where what has been gives way to what will be.
Schedule for the 2021 Public Policy Summit
Please join your community foundation colleagues in person or online for the 2021 HYBRID Annual National Conference for Growing Community Foundations. Travel for some good old-fashioned networking and professional development to embrace peers you have missed or explore what modern technology has to offer to help you stay remote yet meet new and old friends virtually while learning in the comfort of your home/office. Dive into the deep content live or listen to the recording at your convenience later during the year. From “blind-dates” and group discussions for the online attendees to interactive sessions connecting both audiences --- there are plenty of fun ways to bond, learn, and grow! The West and the East, the North and the South come together to network and share experiences with others just as passionate about community foundations!
A few years ago, in my role guiding strategy and programs at the Democracy Fund, I took some time to explore the idea of "trust." It was a construct that came up over and over again in conversations about democracy – for instance, do we trust elections to be safe and secure? What news sources can we trust? Do we still trust our institutions?