Foundation Source / Tools / GrantSafe


GrantSafe is a free online service specifically for private foundations that lets you quickly and easily confirm the IRS exempt status of any public charity before making a grant.

Use GrantSafe®

IRS regulations require that private foundations verify the exempt status of any 501(c)(3) public charity before making a grant, to ensure it is currently in good standing with the IRS. The most accurate and comprehensive source for this information is the IRS Business Master File (BMF).

While the BMF is publicly available, it is neither simple nor easy for an individual to decipher. GrantSafe's proprietary technology eliminates that hassle and complication. Finding an organization is now as easy as typing in the organization's name or tax ID number. A green check mark or red "X" instantly tells you the status.

For verified public charities, it takes just a few mouse clicks, and you can print or save a date-stamped Validation Certificate for your files, as required by the IRS.

Individual donors wishing to search the broader IRS Business Master File of nonprofit organizations should use the Foundation Source Charity Directory.

Foundation Source
Charity Directory

Find basic information about any nonprofit currently registered with the IRS, including address, tax ID number, IRS ruling date, charitable sectors it serves and more.
Foundation Source Charity Directory
Learn more about GrantSafe®:
what it is; why we offer it as a
free service; and how to use it.
GrantSafe® FAQ+
Expert Comment
Jeffrey Haskell
Chief Legal Officer
Foundation Source

"While researching organizations on behalf of our clients, we found that 10 percent of the organizations they intended to make grants to had either lost their exempt status or were not public charities at all. Instead, they turned out to be other types of exempt organizations, such as civic associations, business leagues, and even private foundations they thought were public charities, all of which require foundations to exercise expenditure responsibility when making a grant. GrantSafe® lets you grant with confidence."

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