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.

Online giving days are generating huge interest among community foundations.

Giving online is increasing in double digit percentages year over year, yet in our community, many of the nonprofits we serve have barely have a website let alone a “Donate Now” button. As a result, we thought it was important for us to help our nonprofits become familiar with raising money online.

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

  • Activate in August
  • Preconference Programs at the 2014 Fall Conference
  • Military Families and Mental Health
  • New Donor Advised Fund Research

Read all this and more online today!

Here’s proof you don’t need an endowment to have a significant and disruptive impact on your region’s philanthropic landscape.

D5′s 2014 State of the Work highlights new tools and resources, recently completed research, and new organizational approaches that can help foundations and philanthropic organizations take action, achieve their goals regarding DEI, and advance the common good.

You don’t need an excuse to tell a great story.

You simply need a great story.

And every community foundation has a great story to tell. Whether your foundation is large or tiny, or is located in a big city or a small town, it likely has a powerful story of how it is improving its community and enriching lives.

But if you are still looking for an excuse, here’s one: this year marks the 100th anniversary of community foundations.

This study conducted by Forward Change provides a holistic, in-depth picture of the career experiences of 43 philanthropic professionals of color ranging from Program Officers to CEOs working in a diverse array of foundations.

Population-focused funds (PFFs) are giving vehicles established by and for members of racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sexual-orientation, and other identity-based communities to address critical issues within those communities.

Over the last two years, the City of Flint has been working on its first master plan since 1960. It serves as a blueprint for land use over the next 20 years.

The Greater Houston Community Foundation donor-centered focus helps philanthropists make a bigger impact

Lessons Learned

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