Private Foundation
Minimum: $25,000 $5,000,000+
Startup time: 15 Minutes Weeks or months
Startup costs: None Substantial
Admin Fees: 45 bps (0.45%) or less Range from
Annual AGI deduction limits*
Cash: 60% 30%
Securities & property: 30% 20%
Valuation of gifts: Fair Market Value Fair market value for publicly-traded stock
Cost basis for all other gifts
Annual minimum distribution: None 5% of net asset value annually
Excise Taxes: None 1.39% of net inv. income
Privacy: Confidential or recognition No Privacy
Ongoing Admin Responsibilities: Included Ongoing administration, legal, state and federal filings
Fun: Fun! Not Fun

* Five-year carry forward available.

Note: In contrast, private foundations offer no privacy and no anonymity. Thanks to the internet, anyone with a computer can access information about any private foundation through services like Guidestar (www.guidestar.org).

Since all of a private foundation’s information is pulled from its 990-PF (sometimes, a scanned copy of the original 990-PF is available), anyone can see the asset balance, the directors, salaries, contact information, administrative fees paid, every grant that’s made (including the amount and recipient organization’s name), and investment management fees (holdings are sometimes included).