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.
As We Look Forward
2019 is an important year for the Council on Foundations. We are reflecting on our role in the changing landscape of philanthropy and the road ahead of us. Above all, we are committed to thinking creatively and responsively about how we best serve Council members.
This sample Fund Activity Policy provides language to include, either, in a stand-alone policy, or to be incorporated into an existing donor advised fund agreement or policy. Within the sample policy are: 1) acceptable types of grant activity, 2) a framework for activating grantmaking, and 3) definitions of terms used in the context of this sample policy.
According to The Center for Effective Philanthropy’s recent Strengthening Grantees Report, there is a gap between the support foundations provide and the support nonprofits actually need, which is pervasive and challenging to overcome. Can funders support grantees’ actual needs when nonprofits do not directly communicate it?
As we work to create change within communities and within systems, we must also strengthen how we leverage political advocacy in order to be effective. In this plenary, public and private sector leaders will discuss tools, tactics, and strategies for building and wielding political power to support social change on the key issues facing America and the world today. We will close the conference by focusing on timely and relevant topics, including the movement for gender equality and an end to sexual misconduct in the workplace, the national opioid crisis, and criminal justice reform.
Sample formal policy on records retention and destruction for board approval.
This sample document is being provided for informational purposes and is not to be shared without the permission of the Council on Foundations. Use of the sample document does not create an attorney-client relationship, and the information provided is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. The information may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.
Sample internal policies and proceedures for grantmaking due diligence.
This sample document is being provided for informational and is not to be shared without the permission of the Council on Foundations. Use of the sample document does not create an attorney-client relationship, and the information provided is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances. The information may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.
Sample nondiscrimination policy for hiring, internal promotions, training, opportunities for advancement, and terminations.
These sample bylaws and articles of incorporation are not a model to copy; rather they are provided purely to illustrate what such a document might look like. Each state will have its own form or particular requirements to follow, which may differ from state to state.
For other examples and for an in-depth legal view of foundation formation, please see Creating a Charitable Foundation: Formation and Considerations.