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A foundation is a non-governmental, non-profit organization which has a fund or endowment that it uses to aid charitable, educational, religious or other agencies serving the public good. It makes grants primarily to other non-profit organizations.
Each foundation has its own specific priorities and interests which determines the types of programs it supports. These preferences, any program restrictions and requirements for applying will be included in the Foundation's guidelines.
Some foundations make their money available for:
specific purposes, e.g., building funds, operating support, equipment, seed money
specific populations, e.g., children, minorities, frail elderly, homeless
specific types of organizations, e.g., libraries, hospitals, universities, boy's clubs
specific geographic areas, e.g., city, a county, a state or a region.