Last Updated 06 September 2017 | By:

Foundation Group Nonprofit Review

Are They The Ideal Service For You?

Foundation Group Nonprofit ReviewAre you in the process of forming a nonprofit but you don’t want to go it alone? If you don’t have the budget to hire an attorney, there are a handful of nonprofit formation services that can help you — so many that it can be hard to pick the right one.

My team and I have spent countless hours going over the details of each popular nonprofit service, and my goal is to present you with the information you need to make a good choice for your company.

In this Foundation Group nonprofit review, I’ll walk you through some pros and cons, pricing, features, customer feedback and much more. Let’s figure out if they’re the best fit for you!

Foundation Group Pros & Cons

Pros

  1. The Foundation Group SureStart nonprofit formation system covers incorporation, 501(c)(3) status, charitable solicitation registration, and state and federal compliance filings. It’s a complete service package that leaves little to chance.

  2. They have a 100% IRS approval rate. No nonprofit they’ve ever filed was turned down. That’s especially impressive when you consider how complex many nonprofits can be in terms of legalities.

  3. Foundation Group has 22 years in business, with 15,000+ nonprofits started. This level of experience is noteworthy on its own merit, but in their case it makes that 100% approval rate look even better.

  4. They’re an established authority. The Foundation Group blog is updated at least once a week with relevant, valuable posts aimed at answering questions nonprofits didn’t even know they had. Most competitors have some sort of blog, but many haven’t been updated in months or even years.

  5. Not many of their customers choose to review their services, but those that do are almost all satisfied.

Cons

  1. Due to the customized, individually tailored nature of their SureStart service, they don’t have price estimates conveniently listed on their website like many competitors do. Instead, you have to contact them.

  2. Obviously, given the previous point, you also can’t complete your nonprofit filing online.

Foundation Group Nonprofit Pricing & Features

Foundation Group’s services are highly customized to your specific organization’s needs. As such, they do not have price estimates available online — their services vary quite a bit depending on your nonprofit’s unique structure and nature of business, so it’s impossible to make sweeping price estimates.

Take a look at how they define their SureStart formation system, then we’ll get into some of the details:
Foundation Group PricingFoundation Group’s nonprofit formation solutions cover 3 essential steps:

  • Comprehensive Consultation: They assign to you one of their Nonprofit Exemption Specialists who is specifically experienced in your type of nonprofit — for example, a church would be served by an employee who specializes in compliance for religious institutions. This helps avoid many common problems for your nonprofit type, and ensures that your initial structure is appropriate for the nature of your organization.
  • Forms & Applications Preparation: Next, Foundation Group’s Document Team handles the full preparation of all necessary forms and applications for both your state incorporation and your IRS 501(c)(3) tax exemption forms. Along with this process, they guarantee the approval of all documents they file on your behalf.
  • Charitable Solicitations Registration: In this step, your nonprofit will be registered with your state’s Division of Charities. The compliance requirements for the Division of Charities vary quite a bit by state and by the nature of your organization, but regardless of the requirements your nonprofit will be prepared to solicit donations in a compliant manner.

Additionally, nonprofit formation customers receive a complimentary full year of Foundation Group’s Assurance Program. This service provides you with IRS Form 990 (nonprofit performance) preparation and filing, accounting records review, comprehensive resource materials, educational webinars, expert message boards and consultations.

Considering the fact that the average nonprofit lasts less than 5 years, it’s important to form an organization that’s setup for maximum success from the start. Foundation Group takes a consultative approach to complete nonprofit formation, meaning they take a step-by-step approach to addressing each of the following potential issues that could arise for your organization:

  • Conflicts of interest
  • Membership structure
  • Intellectual property and copyrights
  • Paid staff and employee relations
  • Real estate acquisition and development transactions
  • Selling of goods and/or services
  • Work in other states or foreign countries

When you have an advisor like Foundation Group in your corner, you get comprehensive solutions for issues you might not even know you have if you go the DIY route, or even hire one of their simpler “document filing” competitors. Foundation Group positions your new nonprofit to be entirely compliant with your state of formation as well as with the Internal Revenue Service.

Long story short, this is a company that takes the entire process very seriously. I’m impressed.

Customer Reviews

Customer ReviewsFoundation Group doesn’t have a whole lot of reviews around the web, but the ones we found couldn’t be much more positive. Their happy customers frequently comment about how much stress they avoid by teaming with Foundation Group, and how much the process is simplified over going the DIY route.

Customer Reviews Last Updated 9-4-17

  • Facebook: 4.8/5 out of 24 reviews
  • Google: 5/5 out of 2 reviews
  • BBB: A+ out of 1 review

Conclusion: There isn’t a huge sample of reviews to draw from, but whenever a company has 15,000+ customers and essentially zero critical online feedback, it’s impossible to view this as anything other than a point in Foundation Group’s favor.

How Foundation Group Compares

Foundation Group ComparisonFoundation Group is a great nonprofit service provider because of their comprehensive formation service and 100% IRS approval rate. It’s always smart to know what the competition has to offer though, so let’s also look at Harbor Compliance, my personal favorite provider.

The goal here is to discern which one hits the sweet spot between pricing and features for your organization.

Pricing: Since Foundation Group’s pricing is so variable, it’s tough to make a direct comparison, but Harbor Compliance’s nonprofit formation service is priced at $1,499.

Features: Harbor Compliance’s nonprofit service includes the preparation and filing of your formation papers and 501(c)(3) tax exemption forms. Additionally, every order receives a federal tax ID number (EIN) that allows you to hire employees, open a bank account for your organization, etc. Like I mentioned earlier, both of these companies provide all-encompassing full-service nonprofit formation packages loaded with advanced features.

Customer Support: Foundation Group and Harbor Compliance both offer premium customer service. Both companies have specialists on staff who are uniquely experienced to assist with any issues that arise for your organization. You can count on these providers to form a relationship with your nonprofit that feels more like a partnership than a traditional client/provider relationship.

Experience: Foundation Group has helped form over 15,000 nonprofits since 1995, while Harbor Compliance has served 10,000+ customers since they opened in 2012.

HERE’S A QUICK VISUAL

Foundation Group
  • Pricing
    Rates Vary

  • In Business Since 1995

  • Perfect for:
    Anyone wanting a specialized company that’s cost-effective & trustworthy

Visit Website
Harbor Compliance
  • Pricing
    $1,499

  • In Business Since 2012

  • Perfect for:
    Anyone wanting top-to-bottom formation and ongoing compliance

Visit Website

Common Questions

Can I File a Nonprofit Independently?

It’s an option, but it’s not always a great idea. Nonprofits can be extremely complex due to their many layers of compliance regulations, and unless you’re already familiar with the ins and outs of nonprofit legalities, this isn’t something we advise taking the DIY route for.

What’s Their Refund Policy?

If you’re unhappy with their service, you can contact them to inquire about a refund of any fees paid to Foundation Group. As they say themselves, “if you are seeking a stronger guarantee it is recommended that you contact an attorney.” For what it’s worth, with a 100% IRS success rate, I doubt many customers ever request this refund.

How Secure Is Foundation Group?

While they don’t use any 3rd-party security software like many competitors do, their website is protected by strong security certificates. Plus, they never share your personal information with anyone outside of Foundation Group.

Do They Offer Ongoing Support?

They certainly do, and in fact it’s one of the biggest selling points of Foundation Group’s service. Their advanced customer support is a primary reason that their customers are so pleased with the service they receive.

Should You Use Foundation Group?

In my opinion, Foundation Group is worthy of a 4.7/5 score. Their nonprofit formation service leaves no stone unturned and they’ve never had a filing turned away by the IRS.

Whether you’re ready to start forming your organization with Foundation Group, or you’d like to review our guide to the best nonprofit formation services, simply use the buttons below.

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