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.

Join the Philanthropy Caucus for a social reception to conclude Foundations on the Hill. Network with representatives from a variety of charitable foundations and organizations, lawmakers, and Congressional staff in an event to recognize the role of philanthropy as a unique stakeholder in collective efforts to address some of today's toughest challenges.

Join us to better understand how President Trump's Executive Order 13769, Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals, may impact your foundation's work domestically and globally.

Join us as Suzanne Friday, Senior Counsel and Vice President of Legal Affairs at the Council on Foundation presents "The Private Foundation Minimum Distribution Requirement: The Ins and Outs of Section 4942."

This webinar is the first in a new quarterly series called, “Lunch with Legal Counsel” designed purposely for our private foundation members to help you navigate the rules and effects of private foundation classifications, which includes:

Join President and CEO Vikki Spruill for the first Council Member Update of 2017. Learn why this is such a critical time for philanthropy — and what the Council has planned in the year ahead to help strengthen the field.

On January 27, President Trump issued an Executive Order on "Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements." Since then, there have been protests in cities and airports around the nation, there have been statements from elected officials on both sides of the aisle, and there has been a great deal of discussion via social media.

On January 30, the Council hosted a conference call on President Trump's executive order, its legal underpinnings and challenges, and its impact on foundations and grantees.

There are significant challenges facing Minnesota’s communities, including racial inequality in education, economic opportunities and health outcomes. In Minnesota, members of the philanthropic community work in a variety of innovative and collaborative ways to address these challenges and create a sustainable future.

The Council’s Public-Philanthropic Partnership Office hosted a webinar for funders only with the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Children and Families to help foundations understand the regular programs and goals of the agency. 

Finding New Narratives for Rural America: A Concert of Ideas

Rural Preconference Session IconThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

Refining the Business Case for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within the Philanthropic Sector

Diversity Equity and Inclusion Preconference Session IconThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference.

Linking Local Investment to Global Goals 

Event Overview

There are significant challenges facing American communities today, including growing domestic inequality, increased poverty and harmful impacts from climate change. In Florida, members of the philanthropic community work in a variety of innovative and collaborative ways to improve quality of life and create sustainable local communities.