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Trust the Private Foundation Experts

For over 100 years, private foundations have been the gold standard of giving vehicles for those seeking the maximum impact and flexibility for their philanthropy. They also provide donors with unparalleled financial control, powerful tax advantages, and the ability to perpetuate one’s family legacy.

Now in our third decade, Foundation Source’s sole business is helping donors set up and manage their private foundations, quickly, easily, and professionally.

The Benefits of Working with Us for Foundation Creation

Experience: We have established more than 1,000 private foundations, with a 100% success rate in gaining exempt status. You get peace of mind knowing that our process is tested and proven.

Speed: We have experienced staff and a highly refined process devoted to the fast and efficient creation of private foundations. We can usually have a new foundation up and running, ready to make grants, in less than one week.

Cost: While cost is only one piece of the equation, it is an important one. Our fees are significantly less than those typically charged by others.

What’s Included?

Services include:

  • Creation of a Delaware non-stock corporation
  • Certificate of Good Standing from the state of Delaware
  • Bylaws and essential governance policies/ guidelines for a private foundation
  • Services of a registered agent in Delaware for the corporate entity
  • Completed Application for Employer Identification Number (Form SS-4)
  • Completed Tax Information Authorization (Form 8821)
  • Completed Application for Recognition of Exemption (Form 1023)
  • Filing of all signed forms returned to us
  • Tracking of Form 1023 while pending with the IRS
  • Handling of any routine inquiries from the IRS regarding Form 1023

How long does it take?

We can create the Delaware non-stock corporation in one week or less from receipt of the completed application. We can typically create the Application for Request of Exemption (Form 1023) during the same week, but this is dependent on scheduling a call with the donor to obtain the necessary information.

Upon a favorable ruling from the IRS, the effective date of the foundation’s exempt status is retroactive to the date of the foundation’s formation. Due to our extensive experience with this filing, you can rest assured it will be prepared and filed correctly the first time to avoid unnecessary delays.

Ongoing Foundation Management

After your foundation is set up, we take care of everything you need to keep your foundation running smoothly, including compliance monitoring, transaction processing, tax preparation and filing, and financial and regulatory reporting. You’ll get a web-based console for managing day-to-day foundation activities, and a dedicated Private Client Advisor who gets to know you and your foundation. Have a question or want to explore the many capabilities of your foundation? Your virtual staff of tax, legal, and philanthropic experts is at your service.

The only functions we don’t provide are investment management, legal representation, and personal accounting services. However, we work closely with the trusted advisors you designate.

Getting Started

It’s as easy as 1–2–3:

1. Choose a name for your private foundation. You can name it after your family, the cause you champion, or whatever happens to inspire you.

2. Complete the brief set-up questionnaire. This tells us who will fund the foundation and where the foundation’s investment account will reside.

3. Fund your foundation and start giving. We recommend minimum initial funding of at least $1 million.

Questions? Contact us at 800-839-0054 or .


Foundation Source empowers people and companies to create a better world through philanthropy. As the nation’s largest provider of foundation management services, we’re a trusted source for philanthropic expertise. We invest in industry-leading technology for private foundations and offer a configurable suite of administrative, compliance, tax and advisory solutions that meet you where you are in your philanthropic journey.

For more than two decades, we’ve worked with individuals, families, boards and professional advisors to preserve legacies and make giving easier. Today we are proud to support more than 2,000 unique foundations and have facilitated over $10 billion in charitable aid. With a 98% retention rate, we are honored to have earned the trust and loyalty of our clients.

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