private foundation


If success has been part of your journey in life there are many ways to give back and say “thank you.”

To achieve your success you were probably had help along the way. As you look to the future, perhaps you want to help those that will come after you.

One of the ways to help is through a private foundation.

A private foundation is an independent legal entity established for charitable purposes. A private foundation is not a public charity, which relies on public fundraising to support its activities. The funding of a private foundation typically comes from a single individual, a family, or a corporation, which then receives a tax deduction for donations.

There are many private foundations. For example, some of the names of foundation you will have heard of includes ‘The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’, the J. Paul Getty Trust, and Habitat for Humanity.

A private foundation is a very specific and distinct type of charitable foundation and is distinct from a public charity.

Both public charities and private foundations are classified as tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organizations by the IRS. However, the major difference between a private foundation, like The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and a public charity, like the Make-A-Wish Foundation, is where they derive their financial support.

Because a private foundation stays under your control of the donor, you get to determine many things including:

  • The foundation’s mission;
  • The members of the foundation board;
  • Where and how the funds are invested; and
  • How and where funds are given away.

Additionally, as the foundation can be set up with the intent to exist in perpetuity, your charitable giving through your private foundation can continue as long as your foundation exists. In this way, it can become a living family heirloom that’s passed from one generation to the next.

With courtesy of Foundation Source, here are 10 things you can do with your private foundation.

  • Make a grant to an individual
  • Direct charitable activities
  • Pay expenses for due diligence if it relates to the foundations mission.
  • Develop Grant Agreements to create legally binding contracts for the purpose of a gift.
  • Make Program-Related Investments such as a loan, loan guarantee, equity investment and more.
  • Give awards and prizes to spur progress
  • Create Non Traditional Scholarships
  • Appoint Agents to have legal authority outside the foundation and
  • Donate internationally

Foundation resources

Sacramento Region Community Foundation

Contact: Kerry Wood
955 University Avenue, Suite A, Sacramento, CA 95825
p: (916) 921-7723 ext. 20272580 Fair Oaks Blvd, Suite 16, Sacramento, CA 95825 Ph: (916) 921-7723
Web address: Sacramento Region Community Foundation:

Foundation Source

Contact: Justin Murphy
21 Hobart Avenue, San Mateo CA 94402 Ph: (650) 665-0225
Web address:



    5150 Fair Oaks Blvd, #101-198
    Carmichael, CA, 95608-5788


    Phone: (916) 570-2674
    Fax: (916) 473-8655


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