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Excellence in private foundation philanthropy isn’t merely an ideal. At Foundation Source, it’s our business, as the example below demonstrates.



The foundation has its roots in a humble frontier feed store. Founded in the 1890s, the store eventually grew into a sizable company with a household name. Relatives of the three brothers who grew that company founded their foundation in the 1940s, and it has been in operation ever since.

Today, the board of the foundation, which is comprised of descendants of the brothers, pays homage to its history by keeping track of other descendants through familial records. There are now dozens of descendants and, upon reaching the age of 18, they are all eligible to join the foundation as a non-voting member and attend board meetings. The foundation will match up to three member gifts to charity for as much as $1,500 total in a given year. Members are also able to provide feedback via grant committees for organizations that have applied for funding.

The foundation’s tradition of making giving a (very large) family enterprise is one of its most cherished hallmarks. Even so, all that gift-matching and grant committee activity makes for an enormous amount of paperwork and a sizable administrative burden.



Foundation Source set up their gift-matching program on Applications, our online grants management system for accepting, organizing, tracking, and replying to charitable requests. (Applications is available as an add-on to the robust platform our clients use to manage their foundations.)

Family members use Applications to apply for their gift match. Foundation Source verifies that the family member made a donation and that the recipient organization is eligible to receive grants from the foundation. We also customized Applications so that when a family member is a part of a grant committee, they can log in, review their committee’s applications, and then leave comments for board members.



Thanks to their experience with Applications, the foundation now benefits from a seamless, paperless process for its gift-matching program. The foundation is free to celebrate its heritage without worry that the growth of its family tree will outstrip its administrative capabilities.


At Foundation Source, we help foundations advance their missions by leveraging their entire charitable toolkit. Our in-house tax, legal, administrative, and philanthropic experts give every client capacities once reserved for just the largest, professionally staffed foundations, making the impossible suddenly doable.

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