As one of the three sources of private funds, foundations historically have received the greatest attention from scholars in the fields of philanthropy and higher education and the greatest amount of criticism for their infringement on institutional autonomy. The primary source of foundation influence is closely related to the fact that under the Tax Reform Act of 1969, foundations are required by law to distribute a percentage of their assets each year. Related to the second source of influence, selectivity, foundations are—as are all donors—free to select the recipients of their money. In relation to P. N. Ylvisaker’s third source of influence, foundations have traditionally considered themselves “change agents.” Living individuals are the primary donors to higher education, as they are to all US charities. The chapter concludes that major gifts—whether from foundations, corporations, or individuals—have the potential, on an individual basis, to infringe on institutional autonomy.