At present, there are approximately 6,000 foundations in Spain, 4,000 of which are fully active. The non-active entities are very old foundations, or foundations that were created for a specific period of time; for instance, a foundation created for a certain event. Nonetheless, as no quantitative studies have been carried out in recent years there remain significant gaps in our knowledge about the Spanish foundation sector. Historically, the period of the Franco regime notwithstanding, strong patterns of growth in the number of foundations can be attributed to broader patterns in the social and economic evolution of the twentieth century. These historical changes have been accompanied by legal changes. Over the last few years several laws have been enacted, not just at a state level but also at a regional level (autonomous communities), thus clearly showing the government’s interest in regulating foundations. Unfortunately, foundations do not find the scope of these laws sufficiently satisfactory, despite the efforts that have been made to improve them.