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 early December 2016, the Chinese government released the official and final version of their new Guidelines on Organizational Registration and Temporary Activities Reporting. These guidelines provide needed information for compliance with the 2016 Law of the People’s Republic of China on Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations in the Mainland of China (Overseas NGO Law).

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Update on Tax Reform Progression in the Senate
  • Charitable Giving Coalition Sends Letter to President-elect Trump
  • Final Chinese Overseas NGO Law Guidelines Released
  • States Acting to Address Budget Challenges
  • Princeton Settlement Spawns Copycat Property Tax Exemption Challenge

American Flag

The American public is divided in its attitudes toward important national issues, and historic allegiances have shifted.


Abraham Lincoln

"In this country, public sentiment is everything. With it, nothing can fail; against it, nothing can succeed." ~ Abraham Lincoln


An elephant with

Banksy's Elephant in a Room. Ignore it at your peril.


Kids on laptops

Minding the Gaps: Jobs, Income & Wealth


The East Bay Community Foundation has kept the Council abreast of the latest in regards to the recent tragedy in Oakland. Included in their response is a strategic move to address the safety and affordability of spaces for the artist community in Oakland.

HR & Trendspotting: Parental Leave, The Hunt for Talent, Driving Human Capital with Data, and Integrated Performance Management.

In 2017, HR is expected to adapt to keep up with the changing business environment and evolving employee expectations.