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 find:

  • Pre- and Post-conference Registrations Open for Philanthropy Exchange
  • #CF100: Engaging the Community
  • WATCH: Big Data and Philanthropy
  • Better than Colbert!
  • Emerging Philanthropy at the Council
  • Tweet of the Week
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Get all this news in more, with This Week at the Council.

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.

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.

Announcing the Leading Forward Webinar Series

In This Week at the Council, you'll find:

  • New Speakers Announced for Philanthropy Exchange
  • Aligning Social Action, Lessons from the Ozarks
  • Interested in Applying to the Social Impact Fund?
  • Columbus Survey Deadline Extended
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Find all of this and more in this week's issue!

In This Week at the Council, you'll find:

  • Philanthropy Week at the Council
  • Twitter Chat
  • Improving Social Impact Finance
  • Take Part in the Columbus Survey
  • Tweet of the Week

Find all of this and more in this weeks issue!

3 Ways to Bring Philanthropy Week to Your Community

Right now, over 200 leaders from across the philanthropic sector are uniting in Washington, D.C. to tell their lawmakers that thriving philanthropy builds thriving communities. As lawmakers contemplate comprehensive tax reform, individual changes to the tax code and the President’s FY2015 budget, we must ensure Washington understands that tax policy matters to philanthropy.

President Obama unveiled his Fiscal Year 2015 Budget yesterday, which sets forth the Administration’s spending and policy priorities for the coming year. The Budget presents a fiscal plan oriented around three White House priorities: accelerating economic growth, expanding opportunity for all Americans, and reducing deficits. To cover the cost of these proposals, the Administration seeks to close certain “tax loopholes” it views as providing particular benefit to the wealthy, such as the carried interest deduction.

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