Creation, Operation and Administration of Private Foundations

Private foundations are highly regulated, but we can help you avoid the “devil” in the details.

Private foundations can accomplish amazing things, and Culhane Meadows private client attorneys have a profound respect for the philanthropic work of our clients.  We work with both new and established foundations and can help with the legal and tax issues a foundation may face at every point in its life cycle, from start-up organizational and exemption work (after considering alternatives to a new foundation) through governance changes, guidance on avoiding the self-dealing and other regulatory prohibitions, and domestic and international grant-making issues.

Culhane Meadows helps our foundation client stay in compliance with all federal and state regulatory requirements in a cost effective and practical manner.  We regularly:

  • Create and obtain tax exemption for new private foundations
  • Educate new foundation directors and trustees on the nuances of grantmaking and expenditure responsibility requirements
  • Counsel on maintaining tax-exempt status and avoiding self-dealing violations as a result of transactions with related parties
  • Counsel on avoiding excess business holdings
  • Advise on restrictions on campaigning, advocacy and lobbying
  • Structure US and international program-related investments, private equity and hedge fund investments
  • Plan to avoid jeopardizing investments
  • Counsel regarding endowment fund issues, and
  • Advise on compliance with federal and state dissolution requirements.

 

Our clients include both family foundations and corporate foundations of varying size.  In both cases we commonly advise on whether particular investments are permitted given the relationship of the foundation’s officers or directors to related non-charitable entities, or existing family ownership of investments.   We guide individuals in setting up foundations that will later receive large bequests, and also help foundations modify their mission when appropriate. When employee issues arise, we call on our labor and employment partners.

Culhane Meadows attorneys have decades of experience with tax-exempt foundations, together with a deep understanding of the concerns of both foundation donors and foundation grant recipients.  This often enables us to proactively help foundations  avoid issues that can otherwise be expected to occur.


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