Glossary Term

Supporting Organization / Supporting Foundation

A subcategory of public charity defined in the Internal Revenue Code and subject to certain special requirements and restrictions. A supporting organization exists to benefit, or to perform functions for or of, one or more other public charities. A supporting organization has a very close relationship with another public charity in operations and control. While there are many variations under this IRS category, and while supporting organizations are technically public charities, they often have “foundation” in their name, such as university foundations or hospital foundations that exist to raise money and provide assistance to those institutions and are influenced by and operated alongside those institutions. Also, many supporting organizations are operated under a community foundation umbrella, though supporting organizations are different from donor-advised funds in that they are distinct legal entities.

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