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 this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

  • House Bill is a Big Win for Foundations
  • Community Foundations are "Coming Home"
  • Finalists Announced for 2014 Council Awards Program
  • Take Part in the #CF100 Video Contest
  • Philanthropy and Unaccompanied Children on the US Border
  • And More!

Read it all, available online!

This afternoon, the United States House of Representatives passed an important legislative package impacting philanthropy, the “America Gives More Act of 2014” (H.R. 4719), with a bipartisan super-majority vote of 277-130.

While a sizable number of Democrats voted against the bill because of concerns over how to pay for these provisions, they nonetheless expressed support for the policies advanced by the charitable provisions in the bill.

This week's Washington Snapshot came out a day early because the news was just too exciting to wait! In it you'll read about:

In conjunction with our 90th Anniversary, the Connecticut Community Foundation hosted our first online giving challenge, Give Local Greater Waterbury and Litchfield Hills in November 2013.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

For nearly 100 years, the California Community Foundation (CCF) has been defined by the diverse passions of the more than 1,700 donors who share a dream for a better future. CCF’s initiative, Building a Lifetime of Options & Opportunities for Men (BLOOM), exemplifies this passion by addressing some of L.A. County’s toughest challenges by bringing community and financial resources to the table to create possible solutions.

When we face a new challenge, one of our first instincts is to reach out to someone for advice. By collaborating, sharing resources, and discussing common challenges, you and your peers multiply your impact and advance the common good.

Many community foundations are recognizing that impact investing can be a powerful tool in our philanthropic toolbox. Mission investments are investments made by foundations to further their philanthropic goals. Since 2009, the Seattle Foundation has committed $4 million of its unrestricted endowment assets to extend access to capital and expand economic opportunities for low income communities in our county.