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.

Thank you, Good afternoon. I think we all have a thing or two to learn from amazing students like these. 

I’m grateful to Gwen and the News Literacy Project for an enlightening discussion and for joining us here today. And, thanks to all of you for joining us at the 2014 Annual Conference of the Council on Foundations: Philanthropy Exchange!

Many of you have traveled a long way to be with us. We have leaders from as far away as Anchorage and Australia, from Baton Rouge to Tanzania.

In this issue of Washington Snapshot:

I love my city of Chicago. One of my prouder moments occurred in 2010 which, to me, witnessed the manifestation of about ten years of outreach, communication, and deepening mutual respect across normative borders. It came out of years of interfaith dialogue and growing friendships.

At the end of that summer, I arrived home from my studies in Amman, Jordan to a welcome of something called “Quran Burning Day” as promulgated by some obscure preacher in Florida named Terry Jones.

The Council on Foundations today announced the release of the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, the most comprehensive information available on staff composition and compensation for U.S. foundations. This year’s report benefited from an increased response rate and will now provide more detailed information and data for the largest foundations.

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.” Albert Einstein

Imagine this: a well-intended, charitably-inclined person of wealth creates a trust in the year 1514. This generous benefactor, deeply committed to an altruistic objective, funds the philanthropic cause without a sunset provision; thus, by default, potentially in perpetuity.

Thriving Philanthropy Makes Thriving Communities

There are several proposals being considered in Congress that have significant implications for philanthropy and its effectiveness in addressing some of our most pressing challenges. In addition to educating lawmakers in Washington, D.C., communicating the impact locally is just as important! Here are some ways your organization can spread the word about the correlation between philanthropy and thriving communities.

Media Outreach

Letter to the Editor

In this week's Washington Snapshot, you'll find:

  • Last Chance: Public Policy Preconference
  • Ways and Means Passes Charitable Tax Extenders
  • California Fundraising Law Advances
  • Online Guide to Missouri and Illinois Charities
  • Concern Over Future of New Markets Tax Credit
  • Revision on NTEE Classification System

Read all this and more, online now.

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

Today, the House Ways and Means Committee met to markup several important bills focused on the charitable sector. One bill would make the charitable “tax extenders”—including the IRA charitable rollover—permanent law. Another would simplify the private foundation excise tax on investment income to a single rate of 1%. The Council has already expressed support for both of these measures. All five bills were passed out of the Committee and will now face a full House of Representatives vote.

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