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.

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law examines Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and other laws that govern the management and investment of endowments and other foundation financial assets. It also includes a discussion of the board’s role and the use of outside advisors.

Building off the Council’s HR Summit, this webinar will address the topic of bias and its impact on the performance management process. Removing subjectivity from performance management is near impossible given the universality of unconscious bias. This raises the question, are there even ways to minimize bias within your own performance management process? Allyson Dylan Robinson, Senior Consultant at Cook Ross, will share information on the types of bias associated with performance management and tips for mitigating these. Please note that attendance at the 2017 HR Summit is not a prerequisite for participating in this webinar.

Community Foundation Week (#CFWeek) is a prime opportunity to highlight the critical role of community philanthropy in supporting a thriving local community.

This chapter discusses the federal tax laws governing supporting organizations. As a result of the Tax Reform Act of 1969, private foundations receive considerably less favorable treatment under tax law than public charities. Supporting organizations are a hybrid of private foundations and public charities that generally enjoy more favorable tax treatment than private foundations because they are exempt from many of the excise taxes imposed on private foundations.

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law describes the IRS audit process for exempt organizations, including private foundations; highlights current areas of enforcement focus; and discusses the value of formal legal opinions for private foundations and their managers.

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law examines Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act (UPMIFA) and other laws that govern the management and investment of endowments and other foundation financial assets. It also includes a discussion of the board’s role and the use of outside advisors.

Many people want to start foundations, but few start out knowing exactly what sort of organization they are going to create. The purpose of this e-book is to help potential donors understand the many different entities that are commonly referred to as foundations and to provide an understanding of the legal framework necessary to establish a foundation.

This chapter of Mastering Foundation Law is intended to examine and explain those common legal characteristics shared by community foundations and to provide a comprehensive legal overview of the rules and regulations that govern community foundations. Federal tax law will be the focus although certain sections will discuss state-specific law. You will also find some comparisons between community foundations and other organizations such as private foundations.