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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In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll read about:

  • Tax Policy Debate Heats Up
  • Philanthropy Week in Washington Final Preparations
  • Council Responds to Chairman Camp
  • Council to IRS: 501(c)(4) Rules Go Too Far
  • Twitter Chat on Friday, March 7, 12pm
  • Private Foundation Investment Study

Check it out now for all the details!

As President Obama presents his proposed budget and as Congress considers comprehensive tax reform, proposed policy changes could have a significant – and potentially harmful – impact on philanthropy’s effectiveness. That’s why the Council on Foundations is pleased to welcome nearly 150 leaders from throughout the philanthropic sector for the first annual Philanthropy Week in Washington March 3-7, 2014.

This afternoon Congressman Dave Camp (R-MI-4), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, released a comprehensive plan to reform the individual and corporate tax codes. Find details of the proposed bill here:

Executive Summary

Summary of Bill

In this week's issue:

  • Senate Philanthropy Caucus Briefing During Philanthropy Week
  • Camp tax reform plan expected next week
  • More tax extenders buzz
  • Polarized views on IRS political activity rules
  • IRS 2013 Changes to Form 990-PF
  • State Activity

Read the full issue today!

In this week's This Week at the Council you'll read about:

  • Gearing Up for Philanthropy Week in Washington
  • Reminder: Call For Sessions
  • Video: Creating Effective Stories Lawmakers Will Remember
  • Community Foundations Use Information to Drive Impact
  • Deadline Extended: Field Comment on National Standards Revisions

Read the full issue now.

The Community Foundations National Standards Board (CFNSB) announces an extension to the public comment period for the Proposed Revised National Standards. These revisions are being made as part of a five-year review cycle and will remain open to public comment until February 26, 2014.

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

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Call for Sessions

Be a part of the 2014 Annual Conference: Philanthropy Exchange!

The Council is issuing a Call for Sessions to leading civil and social innovators. We are looking to you for well-developed sessions that offer diverse perspectives, concrete solutions, and fresh insights into our Spotlight Issue: The Role of Philanthropy in an Increasingly Polarized Society

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