In the interest of helping victims of the California Wildfires, Foundation Source has designed this form for use by our clients. It may also be used as a guideline by other private foundations that are interested in providing assistance directly to individuals and families. (Requests for assistance must be initiated by the private foundation, not an individual.) Although we have tried to streamline the process, we want to underscore that it is important that the form be filled out carefully and with forethought.
Under established rules, charitable funds cannot be distributed to individuals merely because they are victims of a disaster. According to IRS Publication 3833, a private foundation providing emergency assistance must make a specific assessment that a recipient of aid is financially or otherwise in need. Accordingly, the grant amount will vary depending on the applicant’s level of need. Individuals do not have to be totally destitute to be eligible to receive emergency assistance; they may merely lack the resources to obtain basic necessities.
The IRS requires that a granting foundation record, among other things, the grant recipient’s need for assistance at the time of the grant; the objective criteria applied to assess need; the process by which grant recipients were selected; and the name, address, and amount distributed to each grant recipient. The IRS requires a granting foundation to make its annual return open to public inspection and disclose a grant recipient’s identity and address, the grant amount, and a description of the grant purpose. However, the IRS does not require the foundation to track how the grant recipient spent the funds. In fact, there are no restrictions on the grant recipient’s use of grant funds.
Foundation Source’s Application for Emergency Assistance has been designed to meet the IRS’s record- keeping and needs assessment requirements.