Termination of a Private Foundation


A Step by Step

Many families frustrated by the upkeep of their private foundation are choosing to unwind their foundation into a Giving Fund at a public foundation.  The following checklist can help you through the necessary steps, in the most logical order, to convert or dissolve your private family foundation to a WaterStone Giving Fund:

  • Review documents which created the foundation to determine dissolution provisions and to be sure you are in compliance with your decision.
  • Obtain Board of Director’s approval and document in the Minutes of the Board of Directors a Resolution of Termination and Plan of Distribution.
  • Satisfy commitments of any legally binding agreement (such as pledges) made by the foundation.
  • Pay any legal or accounting fees for dissolution prior to transfer distribution to your WaterStone Giving Fund.
  • Submit WaterStone Giving Fund application for approval of your Proposed Purpose.
  • Make last distribution to your WaterStone Giving Fund including required annual 5% payout for the year.
  • File Notice of Dissolution with the Secretary of State in the state of incorporation and take all necessary state required steps.
  • Submit a final IRS Form 990-PF to the IRS including a copy of the Resolution of Termination and Plan of Distribution.

Contact WaterStone at WaterStone@WaterStone.org for more information on converting your Private foundation to a Giving Fund.

Resolution of Dissolution – Sample

Step by Step Termination

For state-specific guidelines, please refer to your state web site. Please comply with the federal requirements listed at www.IRS.gov. Note that some state guidelines overlap with federal requirements.
These materials are general and educational in nature, and do not take into account an individual’s or entity’s specific circumstances or applicable governing law, which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and be subject to change.
The analyses and opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of WaterStone or any of its affiliates. No warranty or representation, express or implied, is made by WaterStone nor does WaterStone accept any liability with respect to the information and data set forth herein. Distribution hereof does not constitute legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice. Recipients should consult their professional advisors prior to acting on the information set forth herein and its application to your specific situation.
WaterStone is an independent public charity with a donor-advised fund program. You should consult your tax and legal advisor regarding your specific situation.