An endowment fund is a non-profit organization created by individuals or legal entities for a definite or indefinite period to carry out a work or a mission of general interest. Is of general interest, any work useful to the community at a given period: philanthropic, educational, scientific, social, humanitarian, sports, family, cultural, or contributing to the value of the artistic heritage, the defense of the natural environment or the dissemination of French culture, language and scientific knowledge.
The fund is financed by donations and legacies from companies or individuals. These donations are granted without compensation and in an irrevocable way. In the French law, they give right to reduction of income tax.