Family Foundations

The Council on Foundations defines a family foundation as one whose funds are derived from members of a single family, though this is not a legal term and has no precise definition. The Council on Foundations suggests that family foundations have at least one family member serving as an officer or board member of the foundation and, as the donor, that individual (or a relative) must play a significant role in governing and/or managing the foundation. Most family foundations are run by family members who serve as trustees or directors on a voluntary basis. In many cases, second- and third-generation descendants of the original donors manage the foundation.

Family foundations make up over half of all private (family, corporate, independent, and operating) foundations, or 40,456 out of approximately 73,764 foundations (Foundation Center, 2011). Family foundations make up approximately one-third of the Council’s membership.

Family foundations range in asset size from a few hundred thousand dollars to more than $1 billion. The holdings of family foundations total approximately $294 billion, or about 44 percent of all foundation holdings of $662 billion. Despite this, three out of five family foundations hold assets of less than $1 million. Family foundations gave away approximately $21.3 billion in grants in 2011 (The Foundation Center, 2011).

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Columbus, Indiana is a town of 46,000 best known for being the worldwide headquarters of Cummins Inc. and according to the Smithsonian Magazine a “veritable museum of modern architecture”

HUD No. 14-128
Brian Sullivan
202-708-0685


William S. White with Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill after accepting his honor.

The Council is aware that an individual healthcare worker, who has since tested positive for Ebola, recently travelled from the Cleveland airport. To date, there are no confirmed cases of Ebola in Ohio.

The Council is closely monitoring the information provided by the Cleveland Department of Health, the Ohio Department of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In an abundance of caution, the Council has reached out to local health officials and conference venues.

For more than 20 years, the Council has played a key role in working to reduce barriers to cross-border philanthropy. We are committed to working with grantmakers, the Federal government and multilateral institutions, think tanks, global philanthropic networks, and other partners to facilitate a favorable regulatory environment for foundations doing work overseas.

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