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.
Most private foundations are small and approximately two-thirds of more than 84,000 filing with the IRS in 2008 have less than $1 million in assets and 93% have less than $10 million. In aggregate, private foundations in the U.S. control over $628 billion in assets and made more than $44 billion in charitable contributions in 2007.
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.
- Missouri Foundations: The Big Picture 2009
Published by the Gateway Center for Giving in coordination with the Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program at UMSL and with support from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The study looks at how Missouri compares at the country and regional levels as well as to other states in terms of foundation locations, assets, and allocations.
- Private Dollars for Public Good- A Report on Giving in St. Louis Region 2004
Created by the Gateway to Giving coalition with support from the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation. This report offers new insights into the specific characteristics of charitable giving in the St. Louis region. It looks at how the future intergenerational transfer of wealth can benefit a community.
- New Rules for Grantmakers and Donors 2011
An Overview from Guidestar for Private Foundations Sponsoring Donor-Advised Funds and Donors.
- Foundation Yearbook 2011- Foundation Center
The report provides an overview of the state of foundation giving in the current year and beyond; comparisons of foundation activities by foundation size; and breakdowns of foundation resources by geographic location and grantmaker type.
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates 2011- Foundation Center
U.S. foundation giving was nearly unchanged in 2010. The country’s more than 76,000 grantmaking foundations had estimated giving totaling $45.7 billion last year, almost matching giving in 2009.
- Community Foundation National Standards Board
41 National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations to unify and define community foundations and promote their integrity and public trust.
- Assessment to Action: Creating Change 2007- Center for Effective Philanthropy
A Report on a Gathering of Foundation CEOs,Trustees, and Senior Executives. The report spans a wide range of important issues: the role of strategy and performance assessment, board functioning and the dynamics of race in the boardroom, and the challenge of inspiring –and leading– change.
- Stewardship Principles for Family Foundations- Council of Foundations
These Stewardship Principles and Practice Options to Strengthen Performance describe how family foundations can reflect these fundamental values in their board governance, management and grantmaking.
- High Impact Giving Opportunities 2010
Annual list that provides an exclusive perspective on strategic giving for donors, whether they are able to give $100, $100,000 or $1 million.High-Impact Giving Opportunities guides individuals and foundations as they make contributions and think strategically about philanthropy in 2010 and beyond.
- 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.
- Association of Small Foundations
The Association of Small Foundations (ASF) is a membership organization for donors, trustees, employees and consultants of foundations that have few or no staff.
- Center for Effective Philanthropy
Through research, assessment tools, and programming and communications, CEP's data and insight helps funders achieve the most positive outcomes on issues, fields, communities and people.
- Council on Foundations
The Council on Foundations is a membership organization that supports grantmakers in various aspects of foundation management.
- 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.
- 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.
- Grantmakers for Effective Organizations
GEO is a community of more than 350 grantmakers challenging the status quo in their field to help grantees achieve more.
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.
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.