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.

Democratic Practice

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce two summer webinars that will delve into critical provisions in comprehensive tax reform proposal introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI-4). The proposal lays the groundwork for comprehensive tax reform, and contains dozens of provisions that affect foundations, including—

Speaker Resources

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You MUST register yourself for the conference. All speakers receive complimentary registration for your speaking day. Speakers may also register for the entire conference at a discounted rate of $600. If you have already registered for the conference you will not need to register as a speaker. We updated your registration to reflect that you are a speaker. 

To only register for the day you are speaking, use the discount code provided to you in your speaker welcome email.

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, in partnership with the Council on Foundations, presented the 2016 Secretary’s Award for Public-Philanthropic Partnerships.

Every day, Council members stand at the forefront of innovation, explore creative ways to advance the common good, and find solutions for complex issues in society. For this, the Council's Awards Program was established to recognize excellence in philanthropy and to honor exemplary leaders for their dedication to uplifting the sector.

As we continue this legacy, we'd like to congratulate and honor the winners of the 2016 Distinguished Service Award, Robert Scrivner Award for Creative Grantmaking, and Wilmer Shields Rich Award for Excellence in Communications.

Speaker Highlights

Kate Ahern, Vice President of Social Innovation, Case Foundation

Local Issues. Local Solutions.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2016-2017 Career Pathways Program.