In France, a foundation or fund is a fundraising organization created by one or several donors from the private sector, which serves the public interest and is not for profit. A foundation or fund acts for beneficiaries by making goods, rights and resources available with a view to undertaking a project of public interest. There are various types of foundations and finds, depending on the mission targeted, the nature of the founder and the resources available.
Having a donor-advised fund means benefiting from the expertise, support and tax benefits of the sheltering foundation it is legally attached to. Fondation de France is the leading sheltering foundation of public interest in France, with nearly 800 donor-advised funds.
In France, an association is a not-for-profit association of individuals with a joint project, who engage in shared activities or have shared interests. Unlike a foundation, an association does not necessarily work for a cause of public interest.
These two entities also differ by their legal and tax status and their governance models.
For example, creating an association requires no initial financial outlay. Decisions are taken by way of a democratic vote at association general meetings.