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.

Immigration - How do we make it work?

Immigration Site Session IconThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Bill to Delay Overtime Regulations Passes the House;
  • Bill Introduced to Remove Restrictions on Nonprofits Political Speech;
  • Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division Releases 2017 Work Plan;
  • New Jersey Bill Seeks to Protect Property Tax Exemptions from Third-Party Challenges.

Read all this and more, online now.

One of the largest Atlantic tropical storms in nearly a decade, Hurricane Matthew roared across the Caribbean leaving a path of destruction across Haiti on its slow march north through Cuba, the Bahamas, and eventually, the southeast U.S. Hundreds of thousands have already been displaced by the category 4 storm that has resulted in a great need for water, sanitation, hygiene, food, and housing support.

The Council on Foundations, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, and a panel of funders and responding disaster relief organizations conducted a webinar on how to address recovery. 

The Council on Foundations is partnering with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy on a special issue of The Foundation Review examining the Future of Community. The issue explores aspects of the relationship between foundations and communities, addressing topics such as the redefinition of community, the effect of evolving demographics, and potential solutions to climate change.

Join two of the authors who contributed to the special issue in this webinar:

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce the application period for its flagship leadership development program, Career Pathways, is open now through October 31, 2016. Through Career Pathways, the Council seeks to increase the number of candidates from diverse backgrounds in the leadership pipeline and develop a generation of diverse leaders who are committed to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion within their own organizations and the broader philanthropic sector.

In the United States, LGBTQ History Month is celebrated during the month of October. It is an annual observance of LGBTQ history, and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTQ History Month was first celebrated in 1994. Among the early supporters and members of the first coordinating committee for LGBT History Month was Council on Foundations Board Member and Arcus Foundation Executive Director, Kevin Jennings.

This post originally appeared in the Philanthropy Journal on September 26, 2016.

There’s little doubt that impact investing has generated a lot of excitement, but has it translated into action? The Council on Foundations and Commonfund Institute conducted a recent survey to ask foundations about their understanding, implementation, and perceptions of four “responsible investing” strategies:

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Hello, and welcome to New York City. I want to thank you for coming to our second annual Summit focused on finance and endowments.

Here’s a story—a hypothetical one—what if Mike and Carol Brady established a foundation for their philanthropic giving?  As of late, Legal Affairs has seen an increase in inquiries both relating to and from family foundations. As such, we thought it would be ‘groovy’ to highlight some frequently asked questions, while paying homage to our favorite 70s TV family.