The Council has served private philanthropy since 1964, including both family and independent foundations. As a national community of grantmakers, the Council is proud to offer a variety of services and opportunities for private foundations that reflect the diversity of the field. From advocacy and policy courses to guidance on global grantmaking and peer spaces for CEOs of private foundations, the Council helps private philanthropy further their missions and become more trusted partners.

Gain access to our online member directory where you can connect with peers, attend in-person Council events, and join our online platform, the Philanthropy Exchange.

For Executives:

For Investments and Finance Staff:

  • Finance and Admin – Learn more from your peers about the varying complexities of financial management, fund accounting, gift acceptance, and fiscal operating practices. This community is designed for foundation staff who serve in finance and administrative roles.
  • Scholarship Exchange – Learn and share scholarship policies, processes and opportunities with peers, and see how you can leverage this tool to play a more impactful role in giving.

For Programs and Global Staff:

  • Programs – As communities need change, it is essential for program professionals to have a space to ask questions, share concerns, and connect around programmatic strategy. This community is designed for staff who design and deliver programs, nonprofit services, grantmaking, and community impact.
  • Global Grantmaking – Discover resources and hear from peers on topics related to effective cross-border grantmaking.

For Legal and Policy Staff:

  • General Legal Counsel – This community is designed for legal counsel at all member organizations. Dive deeper into the unique legal and compliance issues facing foundations.
  • Policy & Advocacy – This community is designed for members interested in policy and advocacy. Share national and state policy actions, ask questions, and facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing with other philanthropic policy and government affairs staff.

For Communications and HR Staff:

  • Communications – Engage with your fellow philanthropic communications strategists to gain valuable resources and tools to help share your foundation’s story and convey the meaningful impact of your work.
  • Human Resources – Participate in peer-to-peer conversations with HR, culture, and talent leaders in philanthropy to discuss best practices and new ideas related to talent management, organizational culture, and other operational functions.

Take advantage of member-exclusive discounts on trainings and capacity-building programs to deepen your learning, including conferences, summits, in-person workshops, and webinars.

  • Apply for Career Pathways, an intensive leadership development program designed for mid- to senior-level career professionals committed to strengthening their practice and building connections within the sector
  • CEOs and staff responsible for HR should consider attending our annual HR Retreat
  • Foundation staff engaged in public policy work should consider attending our annual Public Policy Summit
  • Keep an eye on our Events page to find more opportunities to expand your knowledge

Boost your understanding of sector-specific legal issues and access our regularly updated Legal Compendium and Legal Resources team to stay in the know on legal matters impacting the sector.

The Council often convenes members in working groups, task forces and committees to help inform and shape our work. Recent opportunities include:

Reach out to the Engagement Team to explore ways you can volunteer your expertise. to explore ways you can volunteer your expertise.

Work with our Government Affairs team to build your capacity to advocate on behalf of nonprofits and your community and inform the Council's public policy agenda.

Simplifying the Private Foundation Excise Tax – For decades, the Council has advocated for a simplified version of the excise tax. In December 2019, the private foundation excise tax was modified from the historical two-tiered system to a flat rate of 1.39%. when H.R. 1865 (116th Congress) passed on December 20 and took effect upon President’s signature.

Reach out to our Government Affairs team to learn more to learn more.

Remain up to date on the challenges and opportunities shaping philanthropy and share stories about your organization's impact through exclusive communications, including our members-only e-newsletters.

Grantmaker Salary And Benefits Survey (GSB) - Since 1980, the Council's Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey has provided the sector with the most comprehensive data on staff composition and compensation in the United States. Grantmakers rely on this annual report to plan budgets, benchmark personnel policies and practices, determine salary levels for new and existing staff, and more.

Council On Foundations & Commonfund Study Of Investment Of Endowments For Private And Community Foundations (CCSF) Report - The CCSF report is the field’s most comprehensive and authoritative study on investment and governance policies and practices. The 2020 CCSF studies 260 private and community foundations, representing $115.4 billion in assets. Topics covered include:

  • Returns and investment objectives
  • Asset allocation and responsible investing criteria
  • Responsible investment practices
  • Fund flows, spending, and gifts
  • Resources, management, and governance

Receive personalized support from Council staff on issues ranging from fundamentals of operating a foundation to global grantmaking, as well as access to our members-only grantmaking resources center on


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