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.

The 2019 Board Compensation Tables provide foundation board and staff with the tools they need to benchmark their board compensation policies and practices against peers in the field. This report contains data collected through the Council's 2019 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey and presented by foundation type, asset group, and U.S. Census region.
As 2019 comes to a close, I’m reflecting on my first year at the Council on Foundations. I’m proud of the strides we’ve made in forging strong relationships across the sector, moving our policy agenda forward, supporting the professional growth of members and reimagining both our membership model and our vision for the future of the Council.
I’ve just finished a year-long program that aims to bring more diverse senior leadership to the philanthropic sector. My time with the Council on Foundations’ Career Pathways program was transformative and will, no doubt, have an impact on my thinking and career trajectory in ways that I can’t yet even imagine. So why am I not on top of the world?
The Council on Foundations and the Daniel and Barbara Chapman Trust today announced Opportunity Fund as the recipient of the 2019 Chapman Prize.
Sometimes the greatest thing to come from building relationships and networks beyond your own borders—with peers in the US and even beyond— is merely a rehearsal for something you don’t even know you are rehearsing. You never know when or how those relationships will materialize into something more. Politics aside, migration is complicated for both sides of the border.
Nonprofit law in Ethiopia.
In 2018, the Council on Foundations introduced a series of summits on inclusive economic prosperity. These summits were designed to help foundation leaders better understand the leading role that philanthropy can play in developing inclusive economic prosperity outcomes in local economies. can play in developing inclusive economic prosperity outcomes in local economies.
Webinar recording of Membership Renewal 2020: Calling All Public Foundation Members
This report provides salary, benefits, and diversity data for full-time staff at U.S. foundations to aid in budget planning and personnel practice benchmarking.
The Council launched a new approach to membership to better reflect the diversity of the field, but what does that mean for you? Join this members-only conference call to hear more about the model, understand the new renewal process and get your questions answered by Council staff.