This essay focuses on Operating private organizations. Such foundations are not subject to distribution requirements. But they must spend a certain percentage of their income each year on their charitable purposes.
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One example of a private operating foundation is the J. Paul Getty Trust. Found by Jean Paul Getty from an oil fortune. The Trust runs its own programs to promote understanding and preservation of the visual arts, especially in California. The Trust funds The J PaulGetty Museum, Research Institute, Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The Institute is one of the five most wealthy foundations in the US.
These are the foundations that we are most familiar with and to whom charities send their grant applications. Grant-making foundations must distribute a certain percentage. The value of their endowment each year to other organizations.
Perhaps the best known of this type, as well as the largest foundation in the US, is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Found by Bill Gates from his Microsoft fortune. The Gates Foundation focuses on making grants in the areas of health and poverty in the developing world
A corporate foundation is a private foundation that derives its grant. Making funds primarily from the contributions of a profit-making business.
But it is a separate, legal organization, sometimes with its own endowment. And is subject to the same rules and regulations as other private foundations.
Examples of large, well-known corporate foundations include the Walmart Foundation and the Ford Motor Company Fund.
According to the Foundation Center, there are more than 2,600 corporate foundations. In the United States with total corporate giving amounting to $5.5 billion annually (2013).