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Grantmaker Resources

A private foundation is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization with funds from an individual, family, or corporation and managed by its own trustees or directors. A private foundation is established to maintain or aid social, educational, artistic, cultural, religious, or other charitable activities serving the common welfare, primarily through grantmaking.  

In this section, you will find information and resources for private foundations. Information that is specific to corporate or family foundations is located on their respective web pages (i.e. Corporate Roundtable & Family Foundation Roundtable).

  • Giving in St. Louis 2012
    This report is a follow up to our landmark 2004 report Private Dollars for Public Good and will benchmark individual, corporate, and foundation philanthropic giving in St. Louis, Missouri. It is our hope that this report will strengthen the donor community, the nonprofit community, and the broader St. Louis community. This is the only report currently being published of this nature about St. Louis area charitable giving. The report was developed in coordination with the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program at University of Missouri-St. Louis and The Foundation Center. Funding for this report was generously provided by Emerson and Wells Fargo Advisors. Click here for the Executive Summary.
  • New Rules for Grantmakers and Donors (2011)
    Publication by Guidestar that provides an overview of the steps grantors and contributors must take to comply with revised IRS requirements, the possible consequences of failing to follow the IRS rules, and a checklist to help grantmakers keep their charitable contributions 100% IRS compliant. Intended audience is private foundations, donor-advised funds, and philanthropists.
  • Key Facts on U.S. Foundations
    The primary publication in which the Foundation Center documents the overall size of the U.S. foundation community and provides perspective on the giving priorities of the nation's largest foundations.
  • Foundation Stats
    Generate free custom data on the size, scope, and giving priorities of U.S. foundations with Foundation Stats. Use this online tool to produce tables, charts, and trend graphs; save results as PDFs or download custom data for use in spreadsheets.
  • Community Foundation National Standards Board
    Supporting organization of the Council on Foundation that offers 41 National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations to unify and define community foundations and promote their integrity and public trust.


  • The Aspen Institute
    The Aspen Institute mission is twofold: to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.
  • Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP)
    Through research, assessment tools, and programming and communications, CEP focuses on developing data that enables high performing funders, and illustrates how effective grantmaking is and can be through data.  In addition to online research and publications, CEP can be called upon for special presentations of trainings.
  • CompassPoint  
    Formerly the Support Center for Nonprofit Management, CompassPoint helps nonprofits utilize the management tools and concepts to help them best serve their communities.
  • Council on Foundations
    The Council on Foundations is a membership organization that supports grantmakers in various aspects of foundation management.
  • Exponent Philanthropy (formerly the Association of Small Foundations)
    Exponent Philanthropy is a membership organization for donors, trustees, employees and consultants of foundations that have few or no staff.
  • Foundation Center
    Foundation Center is a national nonprofit service organization recognized as the nation’s leading authority on organized philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. While the Foundation Center’s primary work is related to supporting nonprofits in their pursuit of grants, the Foundation Center does have a set of online resources for grantmakers, though does not offer any technical training.  Organizations can become members of the Foundation Center, and gain access to databases of other grantmakers, data-imaging resources, and more.
  • Foundation Financial Officers Group
    FFOG facilitates networking among its members to further their development as financial professionals and foundation officers and to provide the opportunity for the exchange of ideas and information of common interest.
  • FSG 
    FSG provides clients a range of services: strategy, evaluation, research, implementation, organizational change, and coalition building. FSG helps foundations, nonprofits, corporations, school systems, and governmental organizations achieve greater social impact.
  • Grantmakers for Effective Organizations (GEO)
    GEO is a coalition of over 550 grantmaking organizations that seeks to provide grantmakers with the resources and connections to build knowledge and improve their practice in order to foster nonprofit success. Areas of focus include strengthening relationships with grantees, supporting nonprofit resilience, learning for improvement, and collaborating for greater impact.
  • Grantcraft
    GrantCraft materials offer practical insights and tools to help you be more effective. Hundreds of grantmakers — working in different contexts and types of foundations — have contributed their experiences to help create guides, cases, and videos that illuminate the challenges and skills of the craft.
  • Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy
    The School of Philanthropy offers research, training, and degree programs in order to improve philanthropy by training and empowering students and practitioners to be innovative leaders who create positive change in the world.

  • Mission Investors Exchange
    Mission Investors Exchange is a national member organization for foundations seeking to program-related and mission-related investing as a strategy to accomplish their philanthropic goals. Mission Investors Exchange offers webinars, events, workshops, and networking events. 
  • Project Streamline 
    Project Streamline was launched in 2007 to 1) identify the flaws in the current application, monitoring, and reporting practices of grantmakers, 2) develop recommended principles, resources, and tools to help grantmakers address those flaws, and 3) support grantmaker efforts to change.

  • Philanthropy Northwest
    A Regional Association based in the Pacific Northwest that also has a consulting service that works with foundations to strengthen their giving practices. Past clients range from family foundations to corporate giving programs.
  • Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
    Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors provides research and counsel on charitable giving, develops philanthropic programs and offers complete program, administrative and management services for foundations and trusts. 
  • Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)
    The Stanford Social Innovation Review is a magazine and website that covers cross-sector solutions to global problems. SSIR is written for and by social change leaders in the nonprofits, business, and government sectors who view collaboration as key to solving environmental, social, and economic justice issues.

If you would like to learn more about starting a private foundation please visit your local community foundation or speak with an advisor with experience in this area.

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