What is a sheltered foundation?

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What is a sheltered foundation?

Placing foundations under its aegis has been at the heart of the Fondation de France’s aspiration from the very beginning. It thus supports every giving initiative and contributes to the active development of a multi-faceted philanthropy.

When a private individual, a family or a company wishes to make an organized, long-term commitment to a particular cause, one possibility is to approach an umbrella foundation – like the Fondation de France – and create a sheltered foundation by allotting specifically chosen resources to this purpose. The sheltered foundation is legally tied to the recognized public utility foundation that shelters it and must be in alignment with its vision and purpose. The sheltered foundation nevertheless enjoys significant autonomy.

Thanks to the experience and services of the umbrella foundation hosting their project, founders can focus their attention on their practical sponsorship objectives and support the initiatives of their choice. This great flexibility explains the success of the sheltering system: since its creation, the Fondation de France has enabled the creation of over 1,350 foundations under its aegis, and continues to manage more than 820 of them today.

Sheltered foundations: the many facets of solidarity

The purposes of sheltered foundations can vary widely: offer grants to students in a specific field, help the most destitute to reintegrate into society, encourage medical research on a rare disease, get involved with disadvantaged communities in the Southern hemisphere, preserve biodiversity in a given region, etc.

To reach their aims, foundations distribute subsidies to public interest projects or award prizes and grants to researches, students or artists. Here again, each foundation is free to choose its mode of operation: some broadcast specific calls for projects or accept unsolicited requests, while others prefer to not be contacted directly.

Regardless of their geographic spread, size or the social issues they address, the foundations under the aegis of the Fondation de France contribute to a vast collective giving effort of remarkable scope and diversity.

  • 9,800 projects supported in 2017
  • 175 million euros engaged
  • 99 foundations created by companies


Foundation portraits and stories

Every foundation reflects a human story: always generous, often moving, sometimes painful. Some have been established by bequest and thus echo a lifetime commitment or were created in memory of a loved one and the battles he or she led. Others express the enthusiasm of jointly acquiring an effective tool for moving projects forward, or the desire of a company to give meaning to its success by sharing it with the inhabitants of the area in which the company operates.

All sheltered foundations are born of a generous impulse and tell the stories of those who envisioned them. They transform these values of solidarity into concrete actions and enable the realization of admirable projects that would never have existed otherwise.