Legal Compliance

As a benefit of membership, the Council on Foundations attorneys and legal staff provide information and education to Council members regarding a variety of topics related to foundation operations and legal compliance. All information on this website, and all publications, articles, e-mail correspondence and telephone consultations provided by Council attorneys and legal staff are intended for informational purposes only and not as part of an attorney-client relationship. Council attorneys are not licensed in every state and cannot provide legal representation. The information is not a substitute for expert legal, tax or other professional advice tailored to your specific circumstances, and may not be relied upon for the purposes of avoiding any penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code.

You may be aware of the federal laws and regulations that impact advocacy work, but did you know that states often have their own rules to be aware of? Foundations that engage in advocacy activity at the state and local level should understand the rule

Because the excise tax provision is a part of a single bill (the America Gives More Act), private foundations may express a position supporting the full bill under the self-defense exception. The Council is confident with this analysis.

There are documents that should be kept on hand forever; some that may be discarded after a given time period; and some that may be retained or discarded at a foundation's discretion.