Legal Advice to Foundations
Supporting sick children and the poor is an obligation for each of us. Let us fill it for the sake of the weaker members of our society in the name of the principle of social solidarity.
Such foundations are established by their founders, who are often well-known business and cultural people to accomplish noble social goals. Collection of funds for disabled children and children with cancer, e.g. are intended to collect funds in individual children’s accounts allowing for treatment of serious diseases and rehabilitation, as well as psychological care and education outside the classroom, in the hospital.
In order for the foundation to be established, it is necessary for the founder to donate a certain amount of money for a publicly beneficial goal. The founder also defines the assets earmarked for this purpose, i.e. the so-called founding fund. The purpose and the amount of the foundation’s assets allocated for this purpose are the most important factors related to the establishing of a foundation.
The purpose for which we may establish a foundation should be socially or economically beneficial, consistent with the basic interests of the Republic of Poland, in particular such as: health care, development of the economy and science, education and upbringing, culture and art, social care and welfare, environmental protection and care of monuments. The phrase in particular means that the objectives listed in the Act, and the above-mentioned objectives, are stated only as an example. In practice, this means that a foundation may pursue any charitable, social or economically beneficial goals, provided that they are of a public nature.
Foundations’ activity is specific and subject to many limitations. Non-profit foundations are controlled by the state administration bodies and must operate in a transparent manner. Inspections carried out by representatives of competent ministers are meticulous and last a long time.
The correct drafting of the foundation’s statute and the precise objectives of the foundation are the basic tasks for a lawyer. Legal assistance for non-profit foundations also includes organizing tenders for the sale of real estate and supervising the process of administrative control over the foundation.
As a non-for-profit organisation is not focused on profit and it receives the necessary financial resources from various public budgets: state, regional and local. Most often these are associations – voluntary, permanent and self-governing non-profit organisations.
These organisations may carry out economic activities, but their revenue is used to finance their statutory activity and may not be distributed among people working for these organisations. All financial resources of NPOs are earmarked for the implementation of the statutory objectives.
Replacement of economic objectives with humanitarian objectives does not mean that non-profit organisations are prohibited to carry out economic activities and make profits. However, the profit achieved is not an end in itself, but serves to improve the operation of the organisation.
NPOs are more complex, more flexible and have different values and motivation than so-called business entities. They are actively involved in identifying the issues of the local environment.
Public fundraising for the foundation’s statutory purposes requires many actions to be undertaken, and any mistakes may lead to penalising the foundations’ boards. The implementation of the GDPR is aimed at protecting foundations which usually have a large amount of personal data from donors, from high financial penalties imposed on foundations which have not adapted to the GDPR and the Personal Data Protection regulations.