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.

Grantmakers searching for more detailed information about the charitable status of their potential grantees may find the answers they need in the IRS’ Select Check tool.

This IRS online search tool allows the user to:

(1) search the IRS public charity list, known as IRS Publication 78, for data to determine if an organization is charitable,

(2) determine if an organization has filed a Form 990-N (required for smaller charities), or

Grantmakers should be advised that Hurricane Sandy is a “qualified disaster” for federal tax purposes. Under IRS rules, this means that employers may more easily assist employees affected by the disaster. Employers and their related foundations may make payments for reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses, and reasonable and necessary expenses incurred for the repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence or its contents. Such payments will not be treated as taxable income to the affected employees.

Submitted December 21, 2012

Comments on Proposed Amendments to the Regulations Relating to Reliance Standards for Making Good Faith Determinations

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) permitted individuals to roll over up to $100,000 from an individual retirement account (IRA) directly to a qualifying charity without recognizing the assets transferred to the qualifying charity as income. While this initial provision expired on December 31, 2007, it has been extended several times. On January 2, 2013, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (H.R. 8) into law, extending the provision until December 31, 2013.

Foundation CEOs and trustees share insights and personal stories related to significant paths of change and how they overcame setbacks. Download a copy and gain best practices to help you successfully lead your foundation, boards and staff.

20 pages

The Principles were created by representatives of more than 40 charitable sector organizations including the Council on Foundations (the working group coordinator), Independent Sector, InterAction and Grantmakers Without Borders, as an alternative to the U.S. Treasury Department's Voluntary Anti-Terrorist Guidelines.

2005, 14 pages

This cornerstone resource for family philanthropies helps directors, trustees, and key staff navigate the “gray areas” that require professional legal guidance. It provides quick, summarized, user-friendly explanations about basic laws and regulations in a simple question-and-answer format. Now, for the first time since passage of the most significant charitable-reform legislation in decades—the Pension Protection Act of 2006—here’s the one book that incorporates what you really need to know to ensure your family foundation adheres to the letter of the law.

2012, 70 pages

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

Pages

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