foundation

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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.

Bibliography

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Foundation

The lowest division of a building that serves to transmit and anchor the loads from the superstructure directly to the earth or rock, usually below ground level.
Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture Copyright © 2012, 2002, 1998 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Foundation

 

the set of primary underwater components of an overflow dam that form an artificial bed for an open stream of water. The foundation usually consists of an upstream apron, an overflow spillway, a downstream apron or stilling basin, and a bucket. The structures take the load of the water head, preventing the river bed near the dam from being washed out by surface currents and protecting the base of the dam from filtration deformation. The design and the size of the foundation structures are determined from hydraulic, filtration, and static calculations.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

foundation

[fau̇n′dā·shən]
(civil engineering)
The ground that supports a building or other structure.
The portion of a structure which transmits the building load to the ground.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

foundation

1. Any part of a structure that serves to transmit the load to the earth or rock, usually below ground level; the entire masonry substructure.
2. The soil or rock upon which the structure rests.
3. The structure on which the base of a machine rests or to which the feet are fastened.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

foundation

1. the charter incorporating or establishing a society or institution and the statutes or rules governing its affairs
2. Cards a card on which a sequence may be built
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

foundation

The axiom of foundation states that the membership relation is well founded, i.e. that any non-empty collection Y of sets has a member y which is disjoint from Y. This rules out sets which contain themselves (directly or indirectly).
This article is provided by FOLDOC - Free Online Dictionary of Computing (foldoc.org)

Foundation

A platform for auctioning NFTs. Introduced in February 2021, within six months more than $50 million worth of NFTs were sold. NFT artists set up a MetaMask wallet loaded with Ether and then upload their art to IPFS decentralized storage. After the first bid, there is a 24-hour countdown. If auctioned off, the artist receives 85% of the sale price and a 10% royalty if the art is later resold either on Foundation, OpenSea or Rarible. For more information, visit www.foundation.app. See non-fungible token and Ether.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
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