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.

Thousands of children are making the dangerous journey north from Central America and Mexico alone. The number of unaccompanied immigrant children migrating to the United States has increased, and experts anticipate 80,000 to 120,000 new arrivals in 2014. A complex array of federal agencies handle the care and custody of the children once they arrive in the United States as well as the adjudication of their immigration claims. 

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:

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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.

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. The study surfaced a set of potentially common points of entry, career pathways and obstacles of professionals of color in philanthropy, as well as the factors that helped shape those pathways.

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.

This directory contains entries for more than 400 PFFs throughout the United States, serving racial and ethnic groups, women and LGBTQ communities. The Foundation Center sources the data, which is supplemented with data from D5 research.

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.