Chartered in 1956 by the Regents of the University of the State of New York, the Foundation Center exists as an information resource in the field of private philanthropy. As an independent, non-profit organization, the Foundation Center collects, analyzes, and provides public access to information about private foundations. Among its many publications are the Foundation Directory and Foundation Grants Index. The Center operates four reference libraries that are open to the public free of charge; they are located in New York, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and San Francisco. The Center libraries hold copies of the information returns which private foundations in all states must file annually with the Internal Revenue Service. These tax information forms are called the 990-PF and they are in the public record. Many larger foundations issue annual reports (called 990-AR) and a growing number of them host informative websites. However, the 990-PF is often the only source of detailed information on a private foundation's finances, grants, trustees, and operations.
In 2019, The Foundation Center and GuideStar merged to form a new organization, Candid. More information about Candid can be found athttps://candid.org/.
In addition to the four Center libraries, there are more than two hundred Foundation Center Cooperating Collections. The University of Delaware Library has been the home of the Foundation Center Cooperating Collection for the state of Delaware since 1978.
The 990-PF tax returns (as well as a smaller group of 990-AR annual reports) of private foundations from the state of Delaware, 1970 – 2000, comprise this small collection. (A very few foundations from out of state, such as the Longwood Foundation, which has strong state ties, are included.)
The 990-PF tax returns and 990-AR annual reports are available in two formats in this collection: aperture cards and CD-ROMs. 990-PF tax returns from the 1970s through 1998 were distributed from IRS service centers on aperture cards (microfiche embedded in IBM computer punch cards). The aperture cards are filed alphabetically by foundation name in several chronological sequences, reflecting the filing practices of the Reference Department staff who maintained the cards until they were transferred to Special Collections as an archival collection. From 1999 until delivery online in 2000, the IRS distributed the 990-PF tax forms on CD-ROMs; these are also included in the collection.
In addition to a container list, this finding aid includes an information sheet on how to read the identifying information on an aperture card. The IBM punch cards (in which the aperture cards are imbedded) have headers with unique, nine-digit Employer Identification Numbers (E.I.N.) as well as the foundation names. One vertical column of numbers on the punch card is punched in the "one" position to designate 990-PF forms; a punched "two" indicates the presence of a 990-AR on the card. Aperture cards may be viewed on a microfiche reader.