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.

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find the following:

Vikki Spruill, President and CEO, Council on Foundations:

On behalf of the Council on Foundations, I would like to thank Chairman Camp for his decades of public service to the people of Michigan and to the U.S. House of Representatives. We wish him the very best in months and years ahead. We are pleased that Chairman Camp is devoting his final months in office to fine-tuning his comprehensive tax reform proposal.

Do you know more about apps for your phone than apps for your browser? Many are unaware that apps and other add-ons are available for their browsers, are often free, and can provide unique tools to make their online experience better. So if you are a busy philanthropic professional, what apps might you want to try?

Board of Directors Official Notice

The Council on Foundations Governance Committee has nominated the following individuals to serve on the Council’s Board of Directors:

Class of 2017

In this weeks issue:

  • WINGSForum 2014
  • The Council and Commonfund Study Private Foundation Investments
  • Don't Miss Out on Philanthropy Exchange
  • President Obama Announces Climate Data Initiative
  • Tweet of the Week

And more! Read the full issue now.

In this issue:

  • Council Releases Summary of Camp Bill
  • Federal Tax Policy News
  • Treasury Solicits Input on 2014-15 Priority Guidance Plan
  • IRS TE/GE Reorganization 
  • Other Happenings on the Hill
  • State Issues 

Read this issue.

In this week's edition of Washington Snapshot:
  • Council to Senate: Preserve & Expand IRA Rollover
  • More on the Tax Reform Act of 2014
  • Property Tax Proposal in Connecticut
  • California Senate Votes "No" on Political Activity Bill
  • New Papers on the Future of State Charities Regulation
  • Philanthropy Op-Ed

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