Alternatives to Private Foundations

Weighing the benefits of private and public charity

Running a successful, mission-driven foundation requires steadfast vision, strong leadership, and hard work. It also takes time. While the investment of time begins with the startup, it will continue for years to come. And of course, it takes money as well. Theoretically, any amount is possible, but practically, many underestimate the amount needed to operate efficiently, both in terms of the charitable asset and ongoing operating costs. Many private foundations are established without thorough assessment of all the costs involved and the alternatives available. Often prompted by year-end tax planning or the influence of peers, a quick decision can result in a costly and long-term responsibility. Compare Private versus Community Foundations here.

The supporting organization option

Generally, it is possible for a private foundation with $5 million in assets, or the potential to reach $5 million in the future, to become a supporting organization of the Community Foundation. Besides easing the administrative and cost burdens of managing a private foundation, transferring it to the Community Foundation permits the private foundation to take advantage of many aspects of our public charity status.

Find out about supporting organizations, a high-impact, low-hastle alternative to the private foundation.