Foundation basics

How much does it cost to start a private foundation?

The federal and state fees to start a private foundation vary from about $500 to $2,500 depending on the state of organization—this is for filing fees and administrative costs required by the government. 

Cheerlessly, almost everyone who starts a foundation will require the help of a lawyer or a dedicated service company. Although it is possible to find pro bono legal assistance, market rate professional fees to set up a foundation typically run between $2,000 and $8,000.  

The costs to start a private foundation are not inconsequential. Hopefully the estimates provided here are useful to you as you consider whether a private foundation is right for you.  

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Foundation basics