Permission has been given for the making of tax-exempt charitable firms. The groups operate either way or two as a public charity or as a private foundation.

Important Takeaways

  • Usually, a private foundation is considered a non-profit charitable organization created by a single factor, mostly a business or an individual.
  • A public charity focuses on collecting public funds and uses them directly to accomplish the root cause.
  • There is only one difference between the two of them, and it is how they acquire the funds.

Private Foundations

Mostly, private foundations are considered a non-profit charitable entity founded by a single business or an individual for the cause of collecting funds and make them reach the people who need them.

By utilizing the initial seed donation, an investment is made to generate income, which is then distributed as per the charitable firm’s priorities. These priorities are based on Section (501)(c)(3) of the internal revenue code. They are inclusive of donating in areas like relieving the poor, modernization in education, and catering to a particular community’s needs.

Public Charities

Public charities are considered most desirable by some people because the donations are solicited from the community daily, along with appealing to public sentiment. Moreover, a market has been created known as a “market for charity” so that each organization gets a hand on a contribution made by an individual.

The general public contributes at least one-third of the charity as required by IRS, or meets the 10% weightage of circumstances test or facts. However, while the foundation utilizes the income created from the investment and the funding source, the public charity uses money collected by the public so that it can be funded directly to support the initiative.

Difference Between the Public Foundation and Private Charity

The only key difference between the two is the difference in which the funds are gathered. In public zakat charity, the word “public” refers to the donations from the community. Also, the amount generated by these donations is further utilized to identify the number of people who support the cause. The quantification is extremely necessary because it helps in achieving the “public charity” status.

Public charity:

Tax-deductible limits

Regarding the charities, public charities usually have higher tax-deductible donors with the provision of limits and the capability of attracting support and funds from other private foundations and public charities.


  • For the qualification of being a public charity, 501(c)(3), as mentioned earlier, must be organized because the IRS mandates a particular language to be there in the public charity article for the incorporation of explicitly restricting its activities.
  • Furthermore, a public charity is supposed to represent the public interest in terms of a diversified board of directors.
  • Interestingly, over 50% of the board members should not be related by blood, marital relationship, or any outside business partnership, and should not at any cost be compensated for the designation of an employee.
  • As we all know, public charities are usually supported by the public. And for that reason, a specific amount of revenue, at least 33%, should come from small donors, other public charities, or the government. On the contrary, the other 67% comes from other sources.

Private Foundation

A private foundation does not qualify for public charity status for many reasons like an organizational test, income test, or both the tests are not cleared. Many times it is based on intentional choices.

The advantage of forming a private foundation is that it can easily be controlled by the related parties and funded by a small group or even by an individual or family.

It is usually more than enough for those people who are considering starting the foundation. Moreover, if the organization has its purpose and aim for operations, then a private foundation is way more appropriate than a public foundation.


In the end, it is important to note the key differences between both types of charities so that if someone wants to start their foundation will have a clear vision about that. Furthermore, we have discussed the factors due to which both of the charities are different. We also know that the key difference between both of the charities is the way of acquiring the funds.


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