Create a foundation

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Why create a foundation?

In a context of economic, social and environmental turmoil, increasing numbers of private individuals and companies want to build projects that would serve the general interest. Public subsidies are becoming rarer; society must keep control of its destiny. This engagement impulse translates itself in France, for example, by a growing number of foundations created: 2,140 as of June 30, 2014.

Creating a foundation means deciding to assign goods, rights or resources to the fulfillment of public interest – without seeking any profit or serving any private interest.

The notion of “public interest” varies from country to country – it reflects the variety of challenges to face. For instance, in France, a project meeting the following criteria is recognized as being of public interest:

  • involving one of the following activities: philanthropy, education, science, social, humanitarian, sports, family, culture, art or environment
  • working for the common good (in opposition to a limited sphere of private interests)
  • having non-lucrative goals

Those who get involved in creating a foundation, whether motivated by personal reasons or by a cause they particularly care about, commit themselves first and foremost to having a positive impact on society. The foundation relies on the financial commitment of its creators; it has founders rather than members.

Becoming a founder means engaging in concrete action and involvement, by taking risks, in supporting of a cause that will benefit the whole society. Becoming a founder means acquiring a personalized tool to carry out a public interest project.

Why joining the Fondation de France?

The Fondation de France currently shelters 808 foundations. These foundations are under the legal structure of the Fondation de France. This legal status enables them to:

  • benefit from all the advantages, both tax-related and legal, granted to recognized public utility foundations, in particular receiving donations and bequests
  • receive personalized support in their choices as well as a single contact person
  • gain access to a range of individual services with shared costs: financial, societal, legal, real estate, tax…
  • work in a network with similar foundations, sharing best practices at meetings organized by the Fondation de France
  • focus on the real heart of their project by being freed from administrative, financial and accounting tasks, all of which are taken care of by the Fondation de France

The Fondation de France guarantees a simplified administrative and legal framework for the foundations it shelters, and places its multidisciplinary expertise, as well as its network, at their disposal.

The sheltered foundations’ autonomy - in terms of finance, organization and communication - is defined and guaranteed under contract with the Fondation de France.

1/3 of all French foundations have already joined the Fondation de France.

Our areas of expertise

We are experts in the financial, legal and tax needs inherent to foundation management – which are constantly evolving. Our network of field experts allows us to extend our support to each project’s themes: sociologists, professors, ethnologists, historians, child psychiatrists, doctors, research directors, organization members, epidemiologists, etc.

Our financial, legal and tax expertise

This expertise is critical to guarantee efficient management of the annual revenues of the foundations we shelter.

Rigorous and transparent, our management includes:

  • financial and accounting treatment of resources: bequests, transfers of assets, life insurance, gifts, donations, etc.
  • administrative and legal assistance: claims management, contract writing or correction, conducting relevant legal studies, brand name registration, etc.

We have a team of experts in real estate sales and management.

Our network of field experts

The Fondation de France counts 21 experts from various committees, made up of renowned specialists in their field. Primarily volunteers, these field experts cover the majority of French territory: whether they work in Paris or at one of our 7 regional delegations, they enable us to be in direct contact with on-the-ground reality.

Lawyers, nurses, psychologists, magistrates, directors of socio-cultural centers, and more. Thanks to them, we are everywhere and are able to meet urgent needs. We can thereby detect early signals revealing the needs of tomorrow.

Our services

At the Fondation de France, a single contact person supports each foundation through its project. To properly accomplish this task, he or she relies on the various areas of expertise and professions present within the Fondation de France. Services imply a wide range of activities from daily management to a series of personalized options.

Daily management

Every sheltered foundation entrusts its management to the Fondation de France. We offer a range of daily services, which include:

  • financial and accounting treatment of resources:
  • operations related to the reception and processing of resources
  • keeping and editing detailed individualized accounting records
  • financial management of endowments and reserves
  • checking the beneficiaries
  • administrative and legal assistance:
  • issue of tax receipts
  • observation and verification of the foundation’s activity
  • legal and tax intelligence, etc.

We also help founders in choosing the activity and structure of their foundation beforehand.

Personalized services

  • Custom services according to the specific needs of each foundation: training in file processing, establishment of an ad-hoc project, file evaluation, etc.

Every founder can request assistance on a particular subject related to his or her specific issues: youth education, public and environmental health, cancer research, prisons, disability, etc.

  • Support with communication operations, through helping defining needs and finding service providers to events organization, press relations, edition, publication of documents, websites, etc.

Founders can also share the information and news of their choice on our website.

Our aim: support all foundations to grow and get experts in the field of philanthropy.

Founders are given an exclusive space on our website: the Founders’ Area. Regularly updated, it brings together all information of interest: workshop reports, legal and tax news, personalized information, etc.