The Eleanor Richards Johnson Foundation, Inc.



"Providing resources and effecting change through research, education, advocacy, support, and technical assistance."


The Foundation

What is a "Private Foundation?"


The Eleanor Richards Johnson Foundation, Inc. was formed for the following tax-exempt purposes.


1. To improve the economic and social well-being of the disadvantaged and their communities, foster self sufficiency, and assist the disadvantaged to function more effectively as full participants in society.


2. To enrich the  quality and diversity of educational, cultural, health, religious, and human service programs and efforts.


3. To promote civic  participation, social responsibility, public understanding of issues, and development of sound public policy.


4.  To enrich  the quality and   diversity  of educational, cultural, health, religious, and human service programs and efforts.


5.  To   relieve  the  suffering  and  want  of   the poor, the sick, the young, the aged, the helpless.


6. To alleviate the  privation and  distress resulting from any sudden or unusual event or catastrophe.


7. To promote science, health, housing and neighborhood development, community economic development, recreation, religion, and education.


8. To  benefit  and   improve  the    living conditions and the physical, mental, and moral well-being of humanity, regardless of race, color, or creed.

The Eleanor Richards Johnson Foundation, Inc. was incorporated as a Florida nonprofit corporation on August 6, 1996.  The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recognized the Foundation as a section 501 (c)(3) public charity under section 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code on June 17, 1999.  The Foundation's tax-exempt status was later changed to that of a private foundation under section 509(a) of the Code on August 31, 2004.  As such, the Foundation is classified as a tax-exempt organization under section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions to it are tax-deductible under section 170 of the Code.


This Foundation is named in honor of Eleanor Richards Johnson.  Mrs. Johnson was a hard-working and self-motivated woman of less than modest means.  She was dedicated to her family and provided for their needs under difficult circumstances.  She did not have a support system in place to help her face the many challenges she strove to overcome.  The programs supported by this Foundation will help to provide for some portion of the "safety-net" for people, like her, who have family support challenges but limited means to address them.


Background information on Mrs. Johnson is included in the "Testimonial" section under the "About Us" navigation tab of this web site.




The Eleanor Richards Johnson Foundation, Inc. is classified under the Internal Revenue Code as a “private foundation.”   A private foundation is a non-governmental, nonprofit organization having a principal fund managed by its own trustees or directors.  Private foundations maintain or aid charitable, educational, religious, or other activities serving the public good, primarily through the making of grants to other nonprofit organizations.  Every U.S. charity that qualifies under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code as tax-exempt is a "private foundation" unless it demonstrates to the IRS that it falls into another category.  Broadly speaking, organizations that are not private foundations are public charities as described in the Internal Revenue Service Code.


Public charities generally derive their funding or support primarily from the general public, receiving grants from individuals, government, and private foundations.  A private foundation, on the other hand, usually derives its principal fund from a single source, such as an individual, family, or corporation, and more often than not is a grant maker.   A private foundation does not generally receive more than a third of its funding from the general public, government, or other foundations.


There are several restrictions and requirements on private foundations, including:


• restrictions on self-dealing between private foundations and their substantial contributors and other disqualified persons;

• requirements that the foundation annually distribute income for charitable purposes;

• limits on their holdings in private businesses;

• provisions that investments must not jeopardize the carrying out of exempt purposes; and,

• provisions to assure that expenditures further exempt purposes.


Private foundations generally fit into two categories: private operating foundations and private non-operating foundations. Private operating foundations actually run the charitable activities or organizations they fund with their investment income, while private non-operating foundations simply disburse funds to other charitable organizations.


The IRS recognizes two types of private foundations: private nonoperating foundations and private operating foundations. Although the IRS uses a number of criteria to distinguish between the two, in practice, the key difference between a private nonoperating foundation and a private operating foundation is how each distributes its income:


A private nonoperating foundation grants money to other charitable organizations.

A private operating foundation distributes funds to its own programs that exist for charitable purposes.


The Eleanor Richards Johnson Foundation operates primarily as a private nonoperating foundation.  However, it will engage in the direct operation of some programs, on a limited basis.