We would like to start a Foundation in honor of our mother who gave her life to volunteer causes. The Foundation would support some of her favorite charities. How should we go about it?
Unless you think you expect to raise several million dollars for the new Foundation, I suggest that you contact your local community foundation and talk about setting up a donor advised fund in your mother’s memory. The community foundation can establish the Fund almost instantly, usually without any start-up charges, and take care of all of the tax and reporting compliance requirements for you. You can raise money and recommend how the grants are to be distributed. The costs are likely to be less than running a separate foundation, and you can avoid the necessity to spend your time on its administration. You give up some control and there are some new limits on grantmaking, but if you primarily want to support other charities, a donor advised fund may be the way to go. (See Ready Reference Page: “Donor Advised Funds Still Compare Well with Private Foundations.”)