Yes, there are 7 varieties of Foundations and each require reporting and work. The Private Foundation or Family Foundation is potential a very flexible and friendly way to engage family. If your funding is less than $300,000 and unlikely to gain significant contributions you may wish to utilize community foundation or donor advised fund format. If you are larger and want more options in gifting then Family Foundation should be a consideration. If you main objective is to reduce capital gains taxes on appreciated real estate or stocks then consider the ease of donor advised fund as primary choice. If you wish to flow through your funds to charities right now again a donor advised fund may be in your best interest.
There is a good book by Silk & Lintott, “Creating a Private Foundation” and it was revised last year for updates. Before reading this book I had attended a few conferences and meetings addressing setting up a Private Foundation and all of them seem to create more questions than answers. The book is a good resource I recommend getting if your considering setting up a Private Foundation.
One of the biggest complaints of Foundations is getting the administration outsourced and having experts review it and keep it running properly. Foundation Source is the largest of the outsourcing groups and one I have had the pleasure to deal with and watch their well run machine help wealthy families give and be on purpose. Click here for White Paper 10 Ways Outsourcing Can Help You Build a Better Foundation.
www.foundationsource.com is the site and expect to find several other white papers that could be helpful to you in understanding Foundations.
What to expect is that these people are professional and not the cheapest nor the most expensive. They are fair in pricing and deliver a robust amount of resources and have some highly talented people that get things done. They are not paying me I just find that if you need their services and use them it is worth the price and then some. It is good stewardship to know what works and what does not work.