501(c)(3): Public Charity vs. Private Foundation

501(c)(3): Public Charity Vs. Private Foundation by The Startup Garage
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A public benefit corporation that files for tax-exempt status under 501(c)(3) to the IRS is further classified into one of two categories: public charities and private foundations.  The two classifications differ in the amount and type of paperwork that must be filed to the IRS, and you can read up further on the specifics on the Life Cycle of a Public Charity/Private Foundation page from the IRS.

Public Charity

  • A public charity normally receives a substantial part of its income, directly or indirectly, from the public or from the government.

Private Foundation

  • A private foundation receives a substantial part of its income from investments and endowments. The income is used to make grants to other organizations, rather than being applied directly to a charitable activity.


Whether you have a question about Public Charity vs. Private Foundation, or you’d like to discuss our business plan writing services, feel free to contact us for a free consultation!
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About Tyler Jensen

I work with entrepreneurs who are looking to attract investment and get out of the "Garage". I am passionate about helping entrepreneurs start companies that matter. I helped launch over 100 Companies, Non-Profits and Social Enterprises. I consider myself a serial entrepreneur, startup coach & trusted advisor. * Launching New Companies (For Profit, Non-Profit and Social Enterprise) * Expert Business Plan Writer * Extensive Network of Business Relationships focused on Launch & Rapid Growth of New Companies * Startup, Growth, Marketing, Technology, Web, Business Systems * Trusted Advisor to CEO’s & Entrepreneurs * Capital Raising Strategy Development * Startup Team Development The first company I started and sold is VAVi Sport & Social Club which grew to over 25,000 members in six years, was recognized as San Diego’s 30th fastest growing private company in 2006 by the San Diego Business Journal and 32nd fastest in 2007, and sold for over 25X the capital investment.