Private Foundations OneSheet PDF

Private foundations organized for charitable purposes are exempt from income taxes. They are differentiated from tax-exempt public charities by their narrow bases of control and financial support. Statistics on private foundations are compiled from Form 990-PF, an annual information return that includes data on excise tax liability, charitable distributions, administrative expenditures, as well as income statement and balance sheet information. Data are available for the following types of organizations:

  • Operating Foundations—Generally conduct their own charitable activities, e.g., museums
  • Nonoperating Foundations—Generally provide charitable support through grants and other financial means to charitable organizations; the majority of foundations are nonoperating
  • Section 4947(a)(1) Nonexempt Charitable Trusts—Charitable trusts treated as private foundations for tax purposes; may be operating or nonoperating

Statistical Tables   Publications and Papers   Microdata   Other IRS Data
 

For information about selected terms and concepts, a description of the data sources and limitations, and links to recent revisions of Form 990-PF, please visit the Private Foundations Study Metadata page.


Statistical Tables

The following tables are available as Microsoft Excel® files. A free Excel viewer is available for download, if needed.

NOTE: Statistics for the years denoted by an asterisk (*) include information reported by both domestic and foreign foundations and charitable trusts.

Domestic Private Foundations:
     Number and Selected Financial Data
      Classified by: Type of Foundation and Size of End-of-Year Fair Market Value of Total Assets
      Tax Years: 2017 XLS  2016 XLS  2015 XLS  2014 XLS  2013 XLS  2012 XLS  2011 XLS  2010 XLS  2009 XLS  2008 XLS  2007 XLS  2006 XLS  2005 XLS  2004 XLS  2003 XLS  2002 XLS  2001 XLS  2000 XLS  1999 XLS  1998 XLS  1997 XLS  1996 XLS  1995 XLS  1994 XLS  1993 XLS  1992 XLS  1991 XLS  1990 XLS  1989 XLS  1988 XLS  1987 XLS  1986 XLS  1985 XLS
     Income Statements and Balance Sheets
      Classified by: Size of End-of-Year Fair Market Value of Total Assets
      Tax Years: 2017 XLS  2016 XLS  2015 XLS  2014 XLS  2013 XLS  2012 XLS  2011 XLS  2010 XLS  2009 XLS  2008 XLS  2007 XLS  2006 XLS  2005 XLS  2004 XLS  2003 XLS  2002 XLS  2001 XLS  2000 XLS  1999 XLS  1998 XLS  1997 XLS  1996 XLS  1996* XLS  1995* XLS  1994* XLS  1993* XLS  1992* XLS  1991* XLS
    Selected Data Items in Current Dollars
      Classified by: Asset Size
      Tax Years: 1993–2002 XLS
Domestic Nonoperating Private Foundations:
     Disbursements for Charitable Purposes—in Constant Dollars
      Tax Years: 1985–2017 XLS
     Disbursements for Charitable Purposes—in Current Dollars
      Tax Years: 1985–2017 XLS
     Noncharitable-Use Assets and Qualifying Distributions
      Tax Years: 1985–2017 XLS
     Largest 100 Nonoperating Private Foundations—Selected Financial Data
      Tax Years: Panel Study, 1985–1997 XLS
     Selected Data Items by Asset Size—in Current Dollars
      Tax Years: 1993–2002 XLS
Domestic IRC Section 4947(a)(1) Charitable Trusts Treated as Foundations:
     Number and Selected Financial Data
      Classified by: Type of Charitable Trust and Size of End-of-Year Fair Market Value of Assets
      Tax Years: 2017 XLS  2016 XLS  2015 XLS  2014 XLS  2013 XLS  2012 XLS  2011 XLS  2010 XLS  2009 XLS  2008 XLS  2007 XLS  2006 XLS  2005 XLS  2004 XLS  2003 XLS  2002 XLS  2001 XLS  2000 XLS  1999 XLS  1998 XLS  1997 XLS  1996 XLS  1996* XLS  1995* XLS  1994* XLS  1993* XLS  1992* XLS  1991* XLS
     Income Statements and Balance Sheets
      Classified by: Size of End-of-Year Fair Market Value of Assets
      Tax Years: 2017 XLS  2016 XLS  2015 XLS  2014 XLS  2013 XLS  2012 XLS  2011 XLS  2010 XLS  2009 XLS  2008 XLS  2007 XLS  2006 XLS  2005 XLS  2004 XLS  2003 XLS  2002 XLS  2001 XLS  2000 XLS  1999 XLS  1998 XLS  1997 XLS  1996 XLS  1996* XLS  1995* XLS  1994* XLS  1993* XLS  1992* XLS  1991* XLS
Excise Taxes Reported by Charities, Private Foundations, and Split-Interest Trusts on Form 4720
      Classified by: Type of Excise Tax
      Calendar Years:

2019 XLSX 2018 XLSX  2017 XLSX  2016 XLS  2015 XLS  2014 XLS  2013 XLS  2012 XLS   2011 XLS  2010 XLS  2009 XLS  2008 XLS  2007 XLS  2006 XLS  2005 XLS  2004 XLS  2003 XLS

The Tax Stats Table Wizard tool is no longer available due to declining usage and budgetary pressures.  However, both the public-use microdata and aggregated data used in the Table Wizard programs remain available as part of SOI's Tax Stats Web pages. For any questions or concerns, contact Statistical Information Services.
Historical Table:
Table 16—Nonprofit Charitable Organization and Domestic Private Foundation Information Returns, and Tax-Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Returns: Selected Financial Data, Expanded
      Published as: SOI Bulletin Historical Table 16
Projections
For selected tax returns, including the Form 990-PF, IRS's Office of Research produces annual forecasts of the number of returns that will be filed in future years.
     Projections of Returns to be Filed in Future Calendar Years

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Publications and Papers

The following are available as PDF files. A free Adobe® reader is available for download, if needed.

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Other SOI Data on Trusts

Form 5227 is an information return filed by split-interest trusts, those who make distributions to both charitable and noncharitable beneficiaries, while providing tax benefits to their donor. Form 1041 is the income tax return filed by fiduciaries to report income, distributions, and tax liability of estates and trusts.

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Microdata Files

Microdata are individual organization-level data that can be used for research purposes.

The data are contained in XML, ASCII flat files, Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and Adobe Acrobat PDF. Documentation to assist with the files is included. (Free Adobe Acrobat reader, WinZip utility, and Microsoft Excel viewer software is available for download, if needed.)
 

SOI Sample Data Files

This section contains microdata files for all Forms 990-PF sampled for the annual SOI studies of private foundations. The data for each of the annual studies are included in a comprehensive, "harmonized" dataset, with standardized variable names and codes based on the form revision of the latest available Tax Year.

The sample include returns filed by private foundations, exempt under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3), and section 4947(a)(1) nonexempt charitable trusts. The stratified random samples are based on asset size and represent approximately 10 percent of Forms 990-PF filed; sampling rates of 100 percent are applied to large-asset classes. Microdata records contain most financial information from Forms 990-PF, as well as weights (to estimate the population), for each organization.

Available Data:  Tax Years 1985-2017 

Data Element Reference List XLS

Click on one of the following links to access a page with links to data in the desired format.

         ASCII text     XML     

 

The Tax Stats Table Wizard tool is no longer available due to declining usage and budgetary pressures.  However, both the public-use microdata and aggregated data used in the Table Wizard programs remain available as part of SOI's Tax Stats Web pages. For any questions or concerns, contact Statistical Information Services.

 

IRS Population Data

This page contains microdata files for all Forms 990, 990-EZ, and 990-PF returns filed by active organizations.  Data are from the IRS Exempt Organization Master File.

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Other IRS Data and Related Links

For tax administration data on this topic, as well as other types of taxes, choose from the links below.

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