- They have a 100% IRS approval rate. No nonprofit they’ve ever filed was turned down! That’s amazing when you consider how complex many nonprofit platforms can be in terms of legalities.
- Foundation Group has 20+ years in business, with 17,000+ nonprofits started. This level of experience is noteworthy on its own merit, but in their case it makes that 100% approval rate even more impressive.
- 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.
- Every Foundation Group client receives oversight from an IRS-licensed tax specialist. This ensures that your organization is compliant from day one with both state and federal taxation requirements for nonprofits.
- Their blog is updated weekly with relevant, valuable posts aimed at answering questions nonprofits didn’t even know they had.
- Not many of their customers choose to review their services, but those that do are almost all satisfied. On Facebook, they average 4.9 out of 5 stars.
- Starting at $1,750, their prices are a bit higher than some of their competitors. For example, Harbor Compliance offers nonprofit formation with 501(c)(3) certification starting at $1,499.
Foundation Group’s SureStart nonprofit formation service is custom-tailored to your organization, so your exact rate may vary a bit from their standard listed prices.
For most companies, Foundation Group offers formation services at two different price points, $1,750 and $3,000. Take a look at how they describe each of their nonprofit formation packages, SureStart Lite and SureStart.
Foundation Group has a unique consultative approach to nonprofit formation that covers incorporation, 501(c)(3) status, and more. They can help you avoid challenges like conflicts of interest, copyrights and intellectual property, selling of goods or services, etc.
Many nonprofit providers are broad document-filing services that include nonprofit formation as one of their many services. Foundation Group only works with nonprofits, going well beyond simply filling out forms. Think of them more as a business partner with an encyclopedic knowledge of nonprofit compliance requirements.
Let’s discuss the differences between their two nonprofit formation service packages:
SureStart Lite = $1,750 + State Fee
What It Includes: This package features the basics of nonprofit formation, including a name availability check, along with the full prep and filing of your articles of incorporation.
They will also acquire your 501(c)(3) status, draft your bylaws and your conflict of interest policy, and provide you with a federal employer ID number (EIN). Finally, you’ll receive oversight from an IRS-licensed tax specialist to ensure you are compliant with state and federal tax regulations.
Who It’s Right For: Most nonprofits that need 501(c)(3) status should be interested in this package. The oversight from a licensed tax specialist is a nice feature that most competitors don’t offer.
SureStart = $3,000 + State Fee
What It Includes: Everything from SureStart Lite, plus a personal compliance specialist to keep your business compliant after your formation, a state tax exemption (if necessary), a state fundraising registration, preparation of your IRS Form 990 for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, a sales tax exemption application (where available), ongoing consultations, and one year of complimentary access to Kindful fundraising software.
Who It’s Right For: If your nonprofit has complex ongoing compliance requirements, the full SureStart is an excellent choice because of its comprehensive compliance features.
Most nonprofits that require 501(c)(3) status will be served well by the SureStart Lite package, although for those organizations that need some more advanced features, SureStart is a worthy purchase.
Foundation Group doesn’t have a lot of online reviews, but the ones they do have are nearly uniformly positive. They have one or two stray reviews on other sites, but for the most part all of their reviews are on Facebook, where they have a fantastic reputation.
- Facebook: 4.9 out of 5 stars (45 reviews)
Conclusion: While it would be nice to see a larger volume of reviews, these 45 reviews are glowingly positive, so it’s hard to ask for more than that from Foundation Group’s customer feedback.
Foundation Group is a strong contender, thanks to their SureStart personalized formation service and 100% IRS acceptance rate.
Still, there are many other companies that offer nonprofit formation service with 501(c)(3) applications, so let’s briefly examine how they compare to Harbor Compliance, another of the top options in this industry.
Pricing: Foundation Group’s pricing starts at $1,750 for nonprofit formation with 501(c)(3) status, but Harbor Compliance provides this service for $1,499.
Features: These two service providers offer similar feature sets in their packages, but one major difference is that Foundation Group includes oversight from IRS-certified tax specialists in their nonprofit formation packages.
Customer Support: Foundation Group and Harbor Compliance both have stellar customer support reputations. They both provide their customers with continuous access to trained experts who can help your nonprofit navigate the formation process with ease.
Experience: Foundation Group has served 17,000+ organizations since 1995. Harbor Compliance opened their doors in 2012, and since then they’ve served over 10,000 customers.
HERE'S A QUICK VISUAL
Pricing Starts At $1,750
In Business Since 1995
Perfect for: Anyone wanting a specialized company that's cost-effective & trustworthy
Pricing Starts At $1,499
In Business Since 2012
Perfect for: Anyone wanting top-to-bottom formation and ongoing compliance
Can’t I Handle My Own Nonprofit Filing?
You legally can, but it’s not a great idea. Nonprofits ― especially those seeking 501(c)(3) status ― 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.
Does My Nonprofit Formation Include 501(c)(3) Status?
Yes. Foundation Group includes your 501(c)(3) application as part of your nonprofit startup process. Not only that, but they also guarantee its acceptance by the government.
How Long Will My Nonprofit Filing Take?
This can vary. Sometimes, nonprofit startup takes less than a month. Other times, it could take 12 weeks or even longer. It’s hard to predict what the case will be for you, which is another reason it’s nice to have Foundation Group in your corner.
Overall, Foundation Group earns a score of 4.5/5 in our book. Their consultative approach to nonprofit services and 100% IRS acceptance rate are a great combination for anyone looking to start a nonprofit. Ready to get started with Foundation Group? Use their link below, or check out Harbor Compliance.