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Here’s how Benefacts classifies philanthropic institutions that are active in Ireland, following international precedents.

Community foundations Nonprofits that make grants for charitable purposes in a specific country, community or region. Funds are usually derived from multiple donors and held in an independently administered endowment or current funds. Income earned from this endowment, as well as targeted gifts, or “donor-advised funds” is then used to make grants.
Corporate or company-sponsored foundations Independent foundations associated with, and whose funds are derived primarily from a for-profit corporation
Endowed funds and memorial trusts These take a variety of forms. Many have been established using a legacy from a person who has died, or in the name of a dead person. Some have been established to provide funds for scholarship or education, or to relieve poverty among a particular cohort or community.
Family foundations These are independent foundations whose funds are derived from members of a single family. Family members often serve as officers or board members of the foundation and usually have a significant role in grant-making decisions.
Independent foundations Nonprofits with funds and programmes managed by their own trustees or directors, that generally set out to promote public good by making grants. Some are exclusively voluntary in their operations and a small number operate in Ireland with professional staff. Their funds are derived from various sources: legacies, donor-directed funds, and fund-raising.
Operating foundations Their primary purpose is to conduct research, support innovation or promote other social goods as determined by their governing body or establishment charter. Operating foundations may make some grants, but they also engage in direct programme activities as well.
Payroll/employee giving schemes Distinguished from corporate giving because they are under the direct control of employees, who take a role in governance and decision-making.
Philanthropy intermediaries Professionally-run firms or programmes — secular or religious — established to manage the assets of philanthropists or philanthropies or to provide advice or professional supports for philanthropic giving.

Source: Benefacts

Last updated 21 May 2020