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foundation

foundation, institution through which private wealth is contributed and distributed for public purpose. Foundations have existed since Greek and Roman times, when they honored deities. During the Middle Ages in Europe the church had many foundations, and in the Arab lands the waqf, or pious endowment, developed with the growth of Islam. In modern times European foundations, generally smaller than their U.S. counterparts, have been closely regulated by the state (e.g., the Nobel prizes; see Nobel, Alfred Bernhard).

In the United States there were a few early foundations, notably those endowed by Benjamin Franklin in 1791 to provide funds for loans to "young married artificers of good character" and by James Smithson in 1846 for the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution; however, it was not until after the Civil War that foundations developed rapidly. Social disintegration in the South and the establishment of early foundations such as the Peabody Education Fund and the John F. Slater Fund (both designed to provide educational opportunities for African Americans in the South) promoted the movement. The rapid growth of northern industrial enterprise in the postbellum years brought with it an accumulation of huge private fortunes. By the turn of the century, persuasive preachers of the "social gospel" urged the wealthy to meet their charitable obligations to society. Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, Sr., in the period 1896 to 1918, led the way in creating foundations that could distribute their enormous wealth in what was considered to be the most efficient and socially beneficent manner.

Favorable income tax laws in the 1940s further spurred philanthropic activity. During the early 1950s many American foundations were attacked by right-wing journalists and Congressmen; between 1950 and 1953 the House of Representatives conducted two separate investigations into "subversion and Communist penetration" of the nation's philanthropic foundations. Attacks on the foundations began to subside, however, with the passing of the so-called McCarthy era. Although a number of foundations have been restricted by their charters to specific philanthropic functions, the larger U.S. foundations have devoted themselves to broad areas (see separate articles on Lilly Endowment, Inc.; Ford Foundation; Rockefeller Foundation; Sloan Foundation; and Commonwealth Fund). The 1980s and 90s saw a doubling in the number of grantmaking foundations, including those developed by financier George Soros and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. Due in part to economic prosperity, foundation giving doubled between 1990 and 1998 to $19.5 billion. In 1997, the largest recipients of grant dollars were education, health, and human services.

See also philanthropy.

See M. Cuninggim, Private Money and Public Service (1972); W. A. Nielsen, The Big Foundations (1972) and The Endangered Sector (1979); D. N. Layton, Philanthropy and Voluntarism: A Bibliography (1987); Foundation Center Staff, Guide to U.S. Foundations, Their Trustees, Officers, and Donors (2 vol., 1999).

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"foundation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"foundation." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved June 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/foundation

foundation

foun·da·tion / founˈdāshən/ • n. 1. (often foundations) the lowest load-bearing part of a building, typically below ground level. ∎ fig. a body or ground on which other parts rest or are overlaid: he starts playing melody lines on the bass instead of laying the foundation down. ∎  (also foundation garment) a woman's supporting undergarment, such as a girdle. ∎  a cream or powder used as a base to even out facial skin tone before applying other cosmetics. 2. an underlying basis or principle for something: specific learning skills as a foundation for other subjects. ∎  justification or reason: distorted and misleading accusations with no foundation. 3. the action of establishing an institution or organization on a permanent basis, esp. with an endowment. ∎  an institution established with an endowment, for example a college or a body devoted to financing research or charity. DERIVATIVES: foun·da·tion·al / -shənl/ adj.

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"foundation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foundation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foundation

"foundation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved June 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foundation

Foundation

FOUNDATION

A permanent fund established and maintained by contributions for charitable, educational, religious, research, or other benevolent purposes. An institution or association given to rendering financial aid to colleges, schools, hospitals, and charities and generally supported by gifts for such purposes.

The founding or building of a college or hospital. The incorporation or endowment of a college or hospital is the foundation, and those who endow it with land or other property are the founders.

Preliminary questions to a witness to establish admissibility of evidence. Laying a foundation is a prerequisite to the admission of evidence at trial. It is established by testimony that identifies the evidence sought to be admitted and connects it with the issue in question.

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"Foundation." West's Encyclopedia of American Law. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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foundation

foundation.
1. That upon which a structure is erected, e.g. the solid ground beneath a building.

2. Lowest part of a building, below the ground level, providing a firm base for what is above, by which the load is transferred to the ground underneath. Very heavy buildings, such as high-rise, normally require deep foundations on piles, but for lighter structures, such as one- or two-storey houses, trenches into which concrete is poured to provide a base for the footings of the walls will usually suffice. Certain ground conditions might require a reinforced-concrete ‘raft’, which covers the site and widely distributes the load.

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"foundation." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foundation." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foundation

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foundation

foundation. In organ parlance this word is used in 2 different senses. (1) foundation tone is that of all the more dignified stops (diapason, the more solid of the fl. stops etc.). (2) foundation stops are all the stops except the mutation and mixture stops.

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"foundation." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"foundation." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (June 22, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foundation

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foundation

foundation Lowest part of a structure, below ground surface and in contact with natural earth materials, which transmits load to the soil or rock. In a dam the foundation may include the valley floor and abutments.

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"foundation." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Encyclopedia.com. 22 Jun. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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"foundation." A Dictionary of Earth Sciences. . Retrieved June 22, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/foundation