10 types of foundations

10 types of foundations

Did you know there are many types of foundations and each of them is set up to support different purposes? Give this article a read to find out ten of the many types of foundations.

Arts Foundation

Individual artists or artistic organizations can apply for grants through the Arts Foundation. This will usually help the artist to develop their own project and create their portfolio to the level where it can help them make a living if that is within their aim.

Community Foundation

Community foundations make grants to effective programs in their community – this is set up to better communities and funding projects towards the community’s needs.

Corporate Foundation

A corporate foundation is designed to help the employees such as where they live and/or where the business operates. The business then has a charity pot where their business operates to raise money for the foundation – the outcome is often always positive.

Grantmaking nonprofit

The purpose of grantmaking is to distribute funds for a very specific mission and it can range from minor or major part of the mandate.

Private Family Foundation

They are the largest proportion of grantmaking organizations. The purpose of the Private Family Foundation is to meet the philanthropic passions of a family or individuals. Self-funded programs are common.

Public Foundation

Public Foundation has very high expectations around effectiveness and transparency. They are usually set up as an agency, board, or commission that has to grant a mandate.

Independent Foundations

This is a private Foundation that is usually owned by one source, such as an individual’s bequest. Independent Foundations are usually a for-profit organization rather than a non-profit.

Operating Foundations

Private Foundations use most of their income to provide charitable services or programs of their own, rather than making grants outside organizations.

Company-sponsored Foundation

A private foundation whose funding is from the contribution of a for-profit business organization. The company-sponsored foundation may maintain close with the donor company, but it is an independent organization with its own endowment. Rules and regulations are still the same as other private foundations.

Grantmaking Public Charities

Grantmaking Public Charities raise money to support groups of nonprofit organizations.
These are only a few of the many types of grantmakers. It is amazing how many types of grantmakers there are and that everything can be supported by the grantmakers – but you just have to find the right grantmaker that will be able to support your type of mission.

5 reasons to stop using Excel to manage grants in your foundation

It’s 2021, and you’re still using Microsoft Excel. It seems like an outdated solution, but we didn’t come here to judge. The truth is Excel seems like a perfect analysis tool at first glance. However, this tool has many limitations that can reduce efficiency and make you lose money.

From simple home budget spreadsheets to files with thousands of tabs used by giant corporations, Excel is one of the most popular software in the world, used by approximately 750 million people.

It is safe to say that practically all organizations have used Excel spreadsheets to manage their projects. There are several advantages when using a spreadsheet for managing projects. It should be enough for dealing with simple tasks such as personal to-dos or basic team assignments. But, for every advantage, there is also a disadvantage. And when it comes to managing complex social good projects, those disadvantages might be even more significant.

Still, many social entrepreneurs use the Excel spreadsheet editor to organize CSR processes and inevitably lose money. “Why?” you might ask. Well, they lose money because they incorrectly use modern tools, or sometimes don’t use them at all. This makes management difficult, adds unnecessary work, consumes team time, and leads to bigger expenses. If you don’t believe us, check below once and for all why you should leave Excel files in the past.



#1 Excel alone doesn’t do much 

You might be under the impression that there is so much that can be done with Excel, which can be true if you manage only a particular project. But if you need to gather data with forms, reply to applicants, and communicate with your team simultaneously, Excel will not be enough. According to Paul Hammerman, a business application analyst at Forrester Research Inc., “Excel just wasn’t designed to do some of the heavy lifting that companies need to do.” And if you do decide to use Excel, there is a good chance that you will be using a range of other tools with it: Trello, Google Forms, G Suite, and so on. Doing that can lead to decentralized information, which can cause a lot of headaches.

The main disadvantage of a decentralized organization is that you lose control over the day-to-day activities of your company. Maybe “lose” is too strong a word, but you are ceding authority to your managers, which means that you trust their instincts, skills, and talents. However, that can backfire, if your managers aren’t up to the task, which can cause conflict between managers and staff, and between you and your managers.


#2 Excel demands a lot of manual work

Anyone who has used Excel daily knows that there is a lot of manual work involved. And that is a big problem for two main reasons. Firstly, manual work consumes a lot of time and also can become very dull, very fast. Secondly, when people get unfocused doing manual work, they make mistakes. A lot of mistakes! As a matter of fact, a study suggests that nearly 90% of spreadsheet documents contain errors. “In large spreadsheets with thousands of formulas, there will be dozens of undetected errors,” explains Ray Panko, a professor of IT management at the University of Hawaii, and an authority on bad spreadsheet practices.

Trend analysis, particularly of incidents and claims, can save organizations hundreds of thousands of dollars. Excel can be an adequate system to store static data, but it is not made for the in-depth analysis that most organizations require today.

Data has to be manually compiled into reports that allow all users to understand what is going on within the organization. This can be time-consuming, resulting in more problems with real-time analysis and decision-making.

Now, imagine how many times you might have miscalculated projects’ budgets due to a small error in a formula cell. Needless to say, such an error can cause significant consequences.


#3 Excel leads to lack of security

Once you need to work on an Excel document with your team, they will have full access to it, even the sensitive data on it. When it comes to GDPR, this can be a big problem. Having a tool such as Optimy that anonymizes personal information is crucial to keep it safe. Our product also allows you to create many different roles within the tool, with varying permission levels. This way, your team members can only access the data you believe is needed to complete their tasks. Giving total control over Excel spreadsheets can also be a problem in case someone makes a mistake. We all know that it takes only one wrong formula to mess with an entire document. With Optimy, your data will be backed up properly so that the data is secure and available at all times.


#4 Excel can cause miscommunication 

Excel doesn’t have a dedicated feature for teams to talk to each other. Comments can sometimes be used for this, but it can quickly get complicated, and you might feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Our CSR software not only enables you to chat with your colleagues and collaborate better, but it also allows you to message your applicants and other stakeholders. This way, all the communication is centralized, and anyone can take over the conversation in case of an emergency.


#5 Use a software that was created with you in mind

A lot of people use Excel because they had a bad experience in the past with a purchased solution that cost them a lot of frustration and money to retrofit. As a result, they just work with it, even though they know is not the ROI. But it doesn’t have to be like that.

The bottom line is that Excel can only do 10% of what Optimy can do, and there is a simple explanation for that: we created Optimy’s products with you in mind. We created our solutions so you can manage sponsorship, grant-making, and volunteering processes, and it shows. With Optimy, you have a flexible approach, which allows you to easily manage the whole CSR cycle, from creating and editing forms, replying to applicants, to assigning tasks to colleagues. If saving time is your main goal, you can even set up automatic replies or automated workflows and ditch all the manual work. Wondering what more Optimy can do? Explore it further by talking to our friendly sales team.


Embracing digital technology has become vital to any business. But even though many corporations have been using it in their sales or customer success departments, many still have a manual process for their corporate social responsibility activities. That was the case of Mainova. Known as one of the biggest energy suppliers in Germany, the corporation has been for years funding programs to increase energy efficiency in sports facilities, social institutions, and associations and conversion to efficient heating solutions. With over 500 grant applications coming email per year, they knew that Excel was no longer enough for their CSR process.

Since they started using Optimy, Mainova streamlined their whole grant-giving cycle, and it has proven to be a helpful time-saving tool: “The possibilities of selecting different, partly predefined, search options save valuable working time every day. But the budget allocation is the best function for me. Here I can clearly see everything from the total to the individual cost item.” explains Marina Bergner, clerk for donations at Mainova.


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Articles: Rose Community Foundation  Philanthropy Network Eye on FDO  
Statistics: Statista