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Bill&Melissa Gates foundation

Definition of Foundation

(As the term foundation also refers to the cosmetic appellation of a makeup destined to harmonise the face’s skin appearance, it is useful to specify that we’ll focus here on the legal entity. )

A foundation is an organization whose mission is to help fight a cause, usually through donations (grants). Foundations are non-profit organizations, their objective is not to make a benefit. Indeed, their primary goal is to have a positive social impact and make a difference. Foundations manage to pursue their missions either directly or by funding charities and other non-profits. Their structure, core business and operative model, moreover, may vary depending on the market they operate on.

Behind the concept…

There are usually two kinds of foundations: private and public. As for the former, they are legal entities whose funds are provided by an individual’s (person or entity) money, shares, will and so on. An example is the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It is globally considered one of the most transparent and effective non-profits for their policies and operative strategies. In fact, they work arm in arm with a lot of movements to enhance projects that aim to reduce extreme poverty in underdeveloped countries, improve health care and provide educational aid to low-income students in the United States.

Public foundations, on the other hand, rely on fundraising as the main form of subsidizing. Thus, they can receive funding from other foundations, government agencies, individuals etc.

Besides the legal differences, both private and public foundations share the same mission, that is, making a difference by supporting social causes.

Those are the principal categories of foundations. However, there are other kinds that have their proper specificities. It can be from their area of action, or from their practical form. But in every case, the big challenge is to gain in efficacity.

The management of a foundation…

If you are grant manager at the Coca Cola foundation, for instance, you will be overwhelmed with grant requests. Therefore, it is pivotal to select and focus on those projects that align with your culture. You need to define your goals, identity and mission and fund those programs that meet your criteria. This way, you know your investments will have the return you expected.

The best way to successfully and efficiently manage your grant requests is through a grant management software, which consists of these features:

  • Request management: if you are a big foundation and you receive many grant requests, it helps you sort them out and streamline them.
  • Project management: it allows you to juggle different projects, organize them properly, assign tasks and so on.
  • Audit & compliance: it gives you an overview of your projects, allowing you to gather data, generate reports and see the result.
  • Assessment: it gives you the chance to see if your projects met the expectations. It can score and rank the projects based on your KPI.


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