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.

This report presents 2011 salaries and compensation trends over a wide range of positions and grantmaking entities—community, private (family and independent) and public foundations and corporate grantmakers. Based on actual salaries, the report covers 34 positions and provides mean, median, range, 25th, and 75th percentile figures. In addition to analyzing salaries and compensation trends, the full 2011 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report includes data on staff demographics, salary administration, and benefits.

2011, 88 pages

This report presents 2011 salaries and compensation trends over a wide range of positions and grantmaking entities-community foundations, private foundations (family and independent), public foundations, and corporate grantmakers. Based on actual salaries, the report covers 34 positions and allows grantmakers to benchmark compensation against their peers by foundation type, size, and region. The report also offers extensive information on benefits policies and practices and includes new data on health-care premiums by plan type.

 

Founders often assume the next generation will think their narratives are ancient history. These stories, however, can powerfully convey a legacy. The Grandparent Legacy Project is an oral history tool that helps grandparents communicate their stories—their legacies—across the generations. Created by 21/64 and the Association of Small Foundations (ASF), this resource excerpts interviews with 15 well-known philanthropic grandparents, a CD to hear their voices, and a workbook.

2008, 80 pages

 

Built on Principle will help family foundations achieve excellence using the Stewardship Principles for Family Foundations as a blueprint for excellence. You’ll learn about effective practices in board governance, grantmaking, succession planning, communication, ethics, accountability, and other foundation functions. Included are sample documents, model practices, and interviews with peers in other family foundations to help you strengthen your foundation’s performance.

2006, 207 pages

 

Family foundations can find opportunities even in times of great change and crisis. Facing Forever will arm you with the tools, stories, and resources to help you prepare for current and future transitions. At the very least, the difficult issues it raises will help get your board talking about and planning for highly personal and highly probable possibilities.

2004, 170 pages

It’s no accident that the Council on Foundations 2013 Family Philanthropy Conference takes place this week in Silicon Valley. This is Ground Zero for technological innovation. Ideas birthed here have changed—and continue to change—the world.

Silicon Valley has been the workshop of some brilliant entrepreneurs. People like Steve Jobs, William Hewlett, David Packard, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and the founders of Google—Larry Page and Sergey Brin—their amazing work sparked a revolution.

Blessed are the family foundations graced with harmonious board interaction, for they may be focused on their grantmaking. Running through case studies in preparation for our session at this month’s Council on Foundations Family Philanthropy Conference in San Jose, I am struck by the power of a grantmaking program rooted in community ties, family values, well-researched issue areas, and long-term strategic planning. Free from family governance issues, these grantmaking case studies focus outward on communities, programs, and execution.

Despite having a steady job, a mom in South Carolina, who hopes to help her daughter go to college, cannot afford to pay rent in the city in which she works. A promising entrepreneur in Wisconsin has a great idea to improve his community but cannot get the loan needed to get his business off the ground. All over the country and globe, individuals aspire to live a comfortable life and contribute to their families and communities. Many circumstances contribute to the financial barriers that keep these individuals from achieving their dreams.

This infographic from the Charitable Giving Coalition shows why a cap on charitable deductions would undermine giving and have long-lasting consequences for all Americans.

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