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.

Keynote Speaker David McCullough imparted the wisdom attained by a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted historian as it pertained to the conference’s themes of identity, purpose and place Sunday. McCullough weaved snippets of some of his meticulously researched historical subjects and his own personal history to take conference goers on a brisk stroll through what makes America and Americans thrive.

In a special video created for conference attendees, Born This Way Foundation CEO Cynthia Germanotta stated the simple goal: “Support young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world” for young people “are not only tomorrow’s leaders, but they are leading in tremendous ways today, online, in communities, on campuses and across our world.”

Addressing the conference, Germanotta laid out why youth are an untapped resource for community building.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Charity Bill Introduced in Senate;
  • Council Signs Onto Administration's Fair Business Pledge;
  • States Addressing Employment Policies in Different Ways;
  • Council Board Chair Pens Op-Ed on Value of Perpetuity.

Read all this and more, online now!

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • House Tax Policy Subcommittee to Hold Next Tax Reform Hearing;
  • Council Submits Input on Multistate Registration and Filing Project;
  • Accepting Donations for Individuals is Not Charitable;
  • Connecticut Challenges Reflect National Trends;
  • North Carolina Legislators Recommend Taxing Donors on Gifts from IRAs;

Read all this and more, online now.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Hearing on Tax Reform Proposals Set for Next Week;
  • Machine-Readable Forms 990 Soon to be Available to Public;
  • Correcting a Fund Agreement;
  • The Challenges of State Budget Crises on Foundations, Nonprofit Missions;
  • Lessons Learned When a Nonprofit Closes its Doors;
  • Foundations and Social Movements.

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In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Chairman of House Veterans' Affairs Committee to Retire from Congress;
  • IRS Issues Procedure to Gather from Sector;
  • Agency Funds: Invading Principal when Third Party Donors are Involved;
  • Positive News on Proactive Nonprofit Legislation;
  • Charitable Giving Coalition Releases Statement on Clinton Tax Plan.

Read all this and more, online now!

When my grandparents, Sam and Helen Walton, set the course for our family’s philanthropic vision in the late 1980s, they set out to make lasting change by empowering individuals. My grandfather often said there is no limit to what can be accomplished when people are given opportunity and incentive, and my grandmother reinforced that giving back was the most important undertaking our family could do together.

In this week's Washington Snapshot: