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).

Below is everything on our site for family foundations. You can use the filtering options on the right to narrow these results.

We are pleased to announce the release of the Council’s 2016 Salary Tables. This year’s tables include salary data from nearly 10,000 full-time positions in foundations and corporate giving programs (representing over $1 billion in total salaries).

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

- Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development -

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

- Promote just, peaceful, and inclusive societies -

Goal 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions

This member update focused principally on important issues related to foundation financial management and endowment performance.

Goal 15: Life on Land

- Protect, restore, and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degredation and halt biodiversity loss -

Today, the United States became the first high-income nation to join Kenya, Colombia, Indonesia, and Ghana as pilot countries in the SDG Philanthropy Platform. The global SDG Philanthropy Platform, managed by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, the Foundation Center, and UNDP, brings together foundations and philanthropists across the world to build partnerships between philanthropic organizations, the United Nations, governments, civil society, and business to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Goal 14: Life Below Water

- Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources -

Goal 14: Life Below Water

Goal 13: Climate Action

- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts -

Goal 13: Climate Action

The 2016 Salary Tables provide aggregate information on staff salaries among U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs. This data is typically used by foundations to make staffing decisions and provide appropriate compensation for new hires or existing employees. The 2016 Salary Tables include compensation data from nearly 10,000 full-time employees from the 1,010 organizations that participated in the 2016 survey. Responses came from across the country and the tables examine compensation by position, type of foundation, asset size, and region.