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The basis for admitting testimony or evidence into evidence. For example, an attorney must lay a foundation in order to admit an expert witness testimony or a company's business records into evidence. Laying a foundation establishes the qualifications of a witness or the authenticity of the evidence. 

Fund or Endowment

A foundation is also a fund or endowment that is established for a benevolent purpose, such as charity, religion, education, or research.

Case Law

See Giles v. State of Maryland, 386 U.S. 66 (1967) regarding laying a foundation; and Stanbury Law Firm v. Internal Revenue Service, 221 F.3d 1059 (8th Cir. 2000) regarding a 501(c)(3) organization. 

See also

  • Evidence
  • Non-profit organizations

[Last updated in January of 2023 by the Wex Definitions Team]