For over a century, private foundations have been the charitable vehicle of choice for the nation’s most prominent individuals and families. But they were imperfect. Historically, the flexibility and control available only through a private foundation came at a cost: traditional foundations were expensive, time-consuming, and a challenge to operate. Foundation Source was established in April 2000 to solve these issues.
The genesis started with a group of philanthropic individuals who were in search of a simpler, more effective way to manage their charitable giving.
Our founders, brothers Avi and Neil Greenbaum, were attorneys by training and successful serial entrepreneurs. They were also very philanthropic and gave generously to many charitable organizations. In fact, just keeping track of the myriad substantiation receipts from the hundreds of charities they supported was becoming an increasingly difficult challenge.
While searching for a better way to give, a colleague recommended they set up a private foundation.
With a private foundation, the brothers could continue to support all of their favorite charities, and it would open up a whole range of giving options. It would also let them maintain full control over how their charitable assets were invested and distributed. As a bonus, the foundation would generate a single substantiation receipt each time funds were added. The Greenbaums fully appreciated all these potential benefits, but they wanted to avoid the paperwork, administrative complexity, and the compliance concerns that could accompany having a private foundation.
They went in search of a company dedicated to the professional management of private foundations, but only found software companies providing grants-management solutions, a small component of the services required by a well-run foundation. Nowhere could they find a comprehensive solution for establishing and operating a private foundation—let alone one that incorporated online convenience, attentive service, active compliance monitoring, and the on-call expertise of tax, legal, and philanthropic professionals. The solution? Create such a firm.
And so they did. The debut of Foundation Source offered the philanthropic community something truly revolutionary: a comprehensive, full-service solution for foundation management. The company signed its first foundation client in December 2001, and has grown steadily ever since. Today, Foundation Source is able to relieve all the administrative, legal, accounting, and compliance issues traditionally associated with a private foundation, so our more than 1,650 clients can focus on the deeply satisfying part of their philanthropy – changing lives for the better.