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.

Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation Nick Tilsen described the struggle of America’s indigenous people both through history and through today’s world. Tilsen remarked how during both periods in history, differing views of the world adversely affected his indigenous peoples’ community.

The perspective of Tilsen’s native Lakota tribe is one of the world being a delicate interrelated network of all resources and living things which opposed the country’s new settlers and their motive of manifest destiny.

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!

The Council on Foundations exists to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools philanthropic organizations need to make a meaningful difference. As a national organization with a large and diverse membership, the Council possesses a unique ability to offer strategic leadership for philanthropy in its many forms.

In helping foundations LEAD TOGETHER, the Council aims to help grantmakers leverage their resources for common purposes.

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.

The Council submitted a letter on March 31, 2016 in response to a request for information (RFI) issued in February by the Multistate Registration and Filing Project (MRFP)—an organization that works with the National Association of State Charity Officials (NASCO) and the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) to consolidate the information and data requirements of all states that require registration of nonprofit organizations performing charitable solicitations within their jurisdictions. 

Use these resources in your meetings on the Hill and to promote the work back home. Make sure to check back regularly as updates may be released.