Good news! Private 501(c)3 foundations can now register for TechSoup's product donation programs. From supporting arts and sciences to public health and community investment, foundations have been instrumental grantmakers in public life for decades.

At TechSoup, we're happy to help support them and their work. And as an added bonus: 501(c)3 Private foundations are also now eligible for the Microsoft Software Donation Program, as of July 28. In addition to Microsoft, our Check Eligibility Quiz can show you which of our many product donation programs your foundation is eligible for.

How to Register Your Foundation

As with all organizations registering at TechSoup, you must register as an individual before registering an organization. For a thorough overview of this process, visit our How to Use TechSoup page.

When registering your foundation, select "Other Purposes and Activities" as your Organization Type from the dropdown menu. To understand which of the three private foundation subtypes your foundation should register with, we've put together a short explanation:

Private Grantmaking Foundation

Examples of private grantmaking foundations would be the Alcoa Foundation, the BP Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust.

Private grantmaking foundations are usually, but not always, funded from principally one source, such as a for-profit business. Any grantmaking private foundation that does not fall under private independent foundation (explained below) should be classified as a private grantmaking foundation.

Private Independent Foundation

Private independent foundations are often family foundations, such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

A private independent foundation is a private foundation where most or all of its funding comes principally from one source, such as one individual or family, and often in the form of an endowment.

Private Operating Foundation

Most often, private operating foundations are organizations which operate museums and theater/arts centers, although any other charitable activity conducted directly by the foundation can qualify.

Some of the more well-known private operating foundations are the J. Paul Getty Trust, which operates the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, California and the Wikimedia Foundation, which operates Wikipedia.

PLEASE NOTE: Public Grantmaking Foundations

Public grantmaking foundations (community foundations like the Silicon Valley Foundation, the San Francisco Foundation, and the New York Trust) should not be classified as private grantmaking foundations, because these are considered public charities. These organizations rely on the public or multiple sources of funding, If you are a public foundation, the correct subtype is most likely "Gifts, Grants, or Loans to Other Organizations" or "Fundraising."

Check Your Donation Eligibility

Once you've registered, you can log in to your individual account and select Check Eligibility in the left-hand navigation. Select your foundation from the menu to see which donation programs you're likely eligible for.

Qualify Your Organization

After you've registered your foundation, you'll submit a completed Qualification Checklist (PDF 51 KB) and other documents to verify tax exempt status and other information. Qualification generally takes one to two weeks after document submission. You can check your organization's qualification status through your member profile.


Patrick Duggan | TechSoup Digital Marketing Manager