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Types of Grantmakers

As a membership organization, ABAG is a sophisticated network of corporate and foundation leaders throughout the years, including over 135 private foundations and corporations with strategic, ongoing grantmaking programs.

Grantmakers are people and organizations that give monetary awards (grants) to nonprofits. They vary in size and scope from large, national corporate giving programs to small, local family foundations.

  • Private Foundations are a popular, longstanding form of philanthropy in the United States.
  • Family Foundations make up the largest proportion of grantmaking organizations.
  • Corporate Foundations & Giving Programs derive their funds from a profit-making company or corporation. 
  • Independent foundations are a subset of private foundations that some grantmakers view as distinct from private family or corporate foundations.
  • Operating Foundations are private foundations that use the bulk of their income to provide charitable services or to run charitable programs of their own.
  • Public Foundations are recognized as public charities by the IRS.
  • Community Foundations serve a defined geographic area by building permanent funds to address community needs, and by providing a variety of services to donors who wish to carry out their philanthropy without the overhead costs necessary to establishing a private foundation.
  • Donor Advised Funds are a charitable giving vehicle administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual. 
  • Individuals donors from a variety of economic and social background play an important role in philanthropy.
  • Giving Circles combine money, knowledge, and talent from individuals to make collective grants that boost the impact of their giving.
  • Supporting Organizations combine features of public and private foundations into a unique giving vehicle for donors.

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