Supporting Foundations

Families and other entities choose supporting foundations as a way to involve a group in a structured grantmaking process, while anchoring meaning, purpose, and continuity across generations.

Supporting foundations housed at the Jewish Community Federation’s Endowment Fund offer many of the advantages of a private foundation (including independent identity and structure, board leadership, professional staffing, and administrative and accounting support) with all the tax benefits of a Donor-Advised Fund.

A supporting foundation is a charitable corporation or trust that, by affiliating with the Federation, obtains 501(c)(3) tax status as a public charity – earning maximum tax deductibility. Supporting foundations may be created by families, affiliated groups, nonprofit organizations, or businesses, or they may evolve from an existing private foundation.

Supporting foundations are far less restricted than private foundations. They do not have a required annual distribution (5% for private foundations), and they are not taxed on earnings. The Federation handles all accounting, grant payments, and investment, tax, and audit matters.

The donor and Federation work together to appoint a board of directors. Federation-appointed directors must, by law, outnumber donor directors, and the board is required to meet a minimum of once a year and make at least one grant distribution.

The Federation’s expert philanthropic services staff is available to help with strategic direction, grant review and due diligence, assessing the effectiveness of grants, and engaging and educating new generations of family members.

View 2018 year-end giving deadlines for Supporting Foundations.

The Federation manages 23 supporting foundations. Examples include:

Improve the spiritual, emotional and physical health of vulnerable populations

Joseph Pedott Trust

College access for low-income youth


For more information, please contact:
Sue Reinhold, Ph.D.
Managing Director of Philanthropy