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.

Today is International Women’s Day (IWD). Celebrated on March 8 of every year, IWD celebrates women around the world and their achievements. IWD has been observed since the early 1900s and the International Women’s Day website documents the evolution of this global celebration. At a time when there are many places and situations where women's rights, equality, health, and safety remain marginalized, IWD is also a call to action for accelerating gender parity.

Each year, Pennsylvania’s philanthropic sector invests more than $2.6 billion in grant making in the Commonwealth. Uncertainty about national and state public policy and budget realities will make philanthropy’s investments more important than ever, especially on behalf of vulnerable populations in our communities. Now more than ever, Pennsylvania philanthropies must come together to define a shared public policy understanding that can amplify the voice of the sector, to sharpen their focus on the impact of the budget on the social safety net and the non-profit community.

Collaborate & Innovate: Equalizing the Playing Field of Black Business Ownership in the U.S.

Equalizing the Playing Field of Black Business OwnershipThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

In April, my tenure as chair of the Council on Foundations’ Board of Directors will end, and I will near completion of my board service, a term bounded by two historic presidential elections and begun when our country experienced an economic collapse rivaled only by the 1929 market crash and the Great Depression that followed.

In this Week’s Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: President Trump addresses Congress, Secretary Mnuchin speaks on tax reform, Chairman Brady vows to repeal the Johnson Amendment, and the Council and colleagues speak out in defense of nonpartisanship
  • Legislation to invest in “opportunity zones” introduced in House and Senate
  • Ben Carson is confirmed as Housing and Urban Development Secretary
  • President Trump orders agencies to focus on regulatory reform
  • White House budget aims to increase defense spending, cut domestic programs

It’s officially tax season when the IRS releases its Dirty Dozen List of Tax Scams. We know Council members work hard to be on the right side of the law, but the below info from the IRS can be useful to review with board and staff. Don’t forget, if you ever have a question, the Council’s legal team is here to support you. Feel free to contact us at legal@cof.org.

Here’s their list of this year’s most prominent scams:

Launched in 2014, The Veterans Philanthropy Exchange is a learning and sharing forum for philanthropic grantmakers, donors, and corporate giving programs supporting veterans and military family strategies.

Join your peers for discussions about funder collaboration and collective action, a review of lessons learned in veterans philanthropy and partnerships over the past few years, and an exploration of the role that sector might continue to play as a new Administration ramps up, and as the understanding of veterans needs continues to evolve.

In this Week’s Edition of Snapshot…

  • Tax Reform Update: House Republicans face growing opposition to border adjustability
  • Charitable Giving Coalition Spends Day Fighting for the Charitable Deduction on Capitol Hill
  • IRS makes 1023-EZ data available online
  • In the States: State budgets (in brief), and States consider contracting reform commissions

Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill sat down with Philanthropy Hour’s Greg Cherry for an intimate conversation about the impact and value of American philanthropy and the Council on Foundations' role in advancing the common good.

Hear what Vikki considers to be trending in the field, what motivates giving, and some of the exciting work the Council is doing around impact investing and endowments — just stream the 40-minute podcast now.