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A foundation is a legal and philanthropic entity established with the primary purpose of advancing a specific cause, promoting social good, or providing support to charitable, educational, religious, scientific, or other benevolent endeavors. Foundations can take various forms and operate under different legal frameworks, but they commonly share key characteristics.

Here are details about foundations

Legal Structure

Foundations are typically legal entities with a distinct legal personality, separate from their founders or donors.

They are governed by specific legal regulations and statutes that vary across jurisdictions.


Many foundations maintain an endowment, a substantial sum of money invested to generate income. The income generated is used to fund the foundation's ongoing operations and charitable activities.

Types of Foundations

Private Foundations: Funded by a single individual, family, or corporation, with a more personalized approach to grantmaking.

Community Foundations: Focus on specific geographical areas and engage in community development and improvement.
Corporate Foundations: Established by businesses to support charitable causes and enhance corporate social responsibility.

Reporting and Transparency

Foundations are often required to provide public disclosures about their activities, finances, and impact.

Transparency enhances trust among stakeholders and allows the public to assess the foundation's effectiveness.

Mission and Objectives

Foundations articulate a clear mission and set of objectives that define the purpose and scope of their activities.

The mission often reflects the philanthropic goals and values of the founders, focusing on areas such as education, healthcare, poverty alleviation, arts and culture, environmental conservation, or other social causes.

Governance Structure

Foundations have a governance structure that may include a board of trustees, board of directors, or a similar governing body.

The governance structure is responsible for making strategic decisions, overseeing the foundation's operations, and ensuring compliance with legal and ethical standards.

Operational vs. Non-Operational

Operational Foundations: Directly engage in programmatic activities or the implementation of projects aligned with their mission.

Non-Operational Foundations: Primarily provide financial support through grants to other organizations or initiatives.

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Sustainability and Perpetuity

Foundations often strive for sustainability, ensuring their ability to fulfill their mission over the long term.

Some foundations aim for perpetuity, seeking to maintain their impact across generations.

Funding Sources

Foundations are funded through contributions from individuals, families, corporations, or other entities known as donors or contributors.

Funding can be provided as an endowment, periodic donations, or specific project grants.


Foundations allocate funds through grants to support nonprofit organizations, initiatives, or projects aligned with their mission.

Grantmaking may involve strategic planning, application processes, and evaluation mechanisms to ensure effective use of resources.

Legal Compliance

Foundations must comply with legal and regulatory requirements, including filing annual reports, financial disclosures, and adherence to tax regulations.

Compliance ensures transparency, accountability, and legitimacy in their operations.

Foundations play a crucial role in addressing societal challenges, fostering positive change, and contributing to the well-being of communities. Their structure, mission, and impact vary widely, reflecting the diverse philanthropic landscape globally.

RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) Foundations

RAK International Corporate Centre (RAK ICC) Foundations represent a robust corporate structure endowed with a distinct legal persona independent of its founder(s). Governed by its council, the Foundation assumes responsibility for managing assets and fulfilling its objectives. Uses and Benefits of RAK ICC Foundations

Enhanced Succession Planning and Asset Protection

RAK ICC Foundations offer an effective mechanism for succession planning, safeguarding assets for future generations while providing protection against potential liabilities.

Distinct Legal Personality

Enjoying a separate legal identity, RAK ICC Foundations shield assets from personal liabilities while retaining control over their management. Moreover, they maintain perpetual existence beyond the founder’s lifetime.

Robust Governance Structure

These Foundations establish a strong governance framework, ensuring efficient management and oversight of assets through their council.

Asset Holding and Management

RAK ICC Foundations facilitate the holding, management, and distribution of assets, including dividends from operating companies, shares in RAK ICC entities, and assets for the benefit of qualified recipients.

Guardian Oversight

With the presence of a guardian, RAK ICC Foundations ensure adherence to established protocols and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Family Philanthropy

They serve as a vehicle for family philanthropic endeavors, enabling structured and impactful charitable giving.

Overview of RAK ICC Foundations

Governing Law

RAK ICC Foundations operate under the RAK ICC Foundations Regulations 2019.

Minimum Capital

A minimum capital of USD 100, or its equivalent in any other currency, is required for establishment, with provisions for subsequent contributions.


RAK ICC Foundations permit migration into or from the jurisdiction, subject to specified conditions.

Governing Jurisdiction

he jurisdiction lies within common law frameworks, with options including the Courts of the Abu Dhabi Global Market or the Courts of the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Control Mechanisms

Governance is overseen by the council members in accordance with the Foundation’s By-Laws, ensuring adherence to established protocols. The guardian, if appointed, oversees council members’ activities, ensuring compliance.

Annual Accounts

Accounting records are maintained by the registered agent at the registered office, with no public disclosure requirements.

Incorporation Process

The incorporation process entails criteria such as the appointment of a founder, council members, registered agent, and UAE registered office. Additionally, the Foundation may require the appointment of a guardian if it serves charitable or specified non-charitable objectives.

Right to Information

Basic details of each Foundation are maintained in the Foundations Register, while other information remains private unless mandated by relevant authorities.
In essence, RAK ICC Foundations offer a versatile and secure platform for wealth management, succession planning, and philanthropy, underpinned by a robust legal framework and efficient governance mechanisms.

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