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Results for:   Topic: “Tax and Legal”  

Is This Self-Dealing? Three Questions to Ask

With self-dealing rules that are sometimes confusing, can a small foundation determine whether a potential transaction constitutes self-dealing? It can! Apply these three straightforward questions to any situation. Does the transaction involve a disqualified person? The Internal Revenue Service defines a disqualified person as one of the following: Officers, directors, trustees, and others with similar... Read More

Three Types of Audits

Foundations may undergo three types of audits: independent audits (those elected by your foundation); Internal Revenue Service (IRS) audits; and state-level audits. An independent audit happens when a foundation hires an outside auditor to assess its finances and show that it has internal controls and built-in checks and balances. Independent audits ensure that your foundation’s... Read More

Starting a Private Foundation

Private foundations play an important role in communities across the country—filling the shelves of food pantries, employing directors of youth centers, advocating for human rights, and much more. Opportunities abound for you to make a difference through private foundation giving. How do you determine if a private foundation is right for you? Know the field... Read More

Advocacy and Lobbying by Private Foundations

Funders can engage in advocacy, can fund advocacy, and can encourage grantees to engage in advocacy, with exceptions involving lobbying and electioneering. The two types of lobbying are direct lobbying, communicating with legislators to express a view about specific legislation, and grassroots lobbying, asking the public to communicate with legislators to express a view about... Read More

Legal Requirements for Foundation Investments

Board members should be aware of three key legal requirements that may impact foundation investments. Avoid jeopardizing investments The board has the legal responsibility to manage the foundation’s assets in a manner that avoids imprudent investments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may penalize the foundation if it is found to be engaging in investments that... Read More

Tipping the Scales With a Large Grant

Private foundations must follow more stringent rules than public charities, pay an excise tax on net investment income, and pay out an amount equal to 5% of their assets annually. Public charities that are tipped into private foundation status also may lose funding. Many foundations will not give grants to other private foundations, and individual... Read More