A client came to us with a great idea. She wanted to use her private foundation to purchase mittens, gloves, and scarves for underprivileged schoolchildren and distribute them directly, without the aid of a charitable organization other than her own. She wanted to leverage her own relationships, labor, and funding to carry out this task, but did she need to rely on a grantee partner?
We explained that because private foundations are legally empowered to undertake their own charitable activities, she didn’t need to work through an outside organization. There is a misconception that foundations must support good works only through grants to 501(c)(3) public charities. The truth is that the foundation itself can play a central role in running its own programs.