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Community vs. Private Foundation Comparison

  Community Foundation Private Foundation
Minimum Assets
  • $10,000
  • $1M+ to be fiscally efficient
  • No cost to establish
  • Requires legal expenses & IRS 1023 application fees
Cost & Administration
  • 1% on assets
  • No annual excise taxes
  • No annual audit of tax filings
  • Annual excise payments of 1-2% of net income & net realized gains
  • IRS form 990 filed annually
  • Annual audit or review
  • Donor recommends grants from the fund
  • Foundation Board has final approval of all grants
  • Independent corporation with its own Board of Trustees or administration by a trust department for an additional fee
  • Subject to IRS regulations*
Tax Benefits
  • Cash gifts: 50% of AGI
  • Capital gain property: 30% of AGI
  • All capital gain property deductible at current value
  • 5 year carry-over available
  • No tax on investment income
  • Cash gifts: 30% of AGI
  • Capital gain property: 20% of AGI
  • Publicly traded securities deductible at current value
  • Privately held stock & other assets deductible at basis
  • 5 year carry-over available
  • 2% excise tax on investment income
  • Fund name/donor acknowledged in grant letters
  • Fund listed in GMCF Annual Report
  • Fund listed on GMCF website
  • Assistance with public grant announcements, if desired
  • Issues own grant guidelines and required annual reports
  • Total anonymity and confidentiality if requested
  • No IRS form 990PF is required and publicly available
Grant Making
  • No required annual distribution
  • Foundation staff is available to help identify and assess grantees, provide input on community needs and verify nonprofit status
  • Grants checks normally issued in 2-3 days
  • Option to distribute grants from income and principal
  • Annual 5% minimum distribution
  • Board is responsible for all grant making and monitoring
  • Restrictions on scholarship and research grants
  • Restrictions on "self-dealing"
  • GMCF portfolio, or upon request and approval of the Foundation, an approved outside manager
  • Investment vehicles overseen by Board
  • Subject to Uniform Management of Institutional Funds Act
  • Investment management fees paid from private foundation assets

*IRS regulations include but are not limited to restrictions on holding interests in business enterprises, prohibition against grants to support lobbying and expenditure responsibility procedures for grants to organizations that are not public charities. As a "public charity," the Greater Manhattan Community Foundation operates under different rules and its administration monitors all compliance issues.