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Private foundations are the premier vehicle for philanthropic giving in the US.  Whether started by individuals, companies, or families, a private foundation establishes a charitable entity that can impact communities worldwide…and start a legacy of giving that can be handed down to future generations.

Use this Guide Page as a content hub to learn about what a private foundation is, best practices for operating and maintaining one, and even how to start one of your own.

We wish you much success on your journey of philanthropy!

Learn About Private Foundations

What Is A Private Foundation

By definition, a private foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization, usually established for the purpose of granting money to charitable causes.  They serve as philanthropic partners of charity, providing a crucial source of funding necessary for charitable programs to be successful.  <more>

How To Start A Private Foundation

Don’t go it alone.  For over 20 years, we’ve been the experts in establishing new foundations.  Our SureStart nonprofit formation system for Private Foundations provides professional assistance and peace of mind to giving families and others venturing into the world of philanthropy.  <more>

Private Foundation Statistics (US)*

Total number of Foundations:  86,726

Total giving:  $60,244,456,505

Total assets:  $865,249,516,054

Total gifts received:  $56,699,523,467

Largest in US by assets:

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – $44.3 billion
Ford Foundation – $12.4 billion
Getty Trust, J. Paul – $12 billion
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation – $10.5 billion

*Source:  Foundation Center

Foundations by State

Learn More About Private Foundation Issues
CONTROL word cloud, nonprofit business concept

Nonprofit Ownership & Control

For a visionary individual who wants to start a nonprofit, the concept of ownership can…

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