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.

A year and a half before the historic US Supreme Court ruling ended discrimination in civil marriage rights for same-sex couples, foundations and nonprofit leaders of the LGBTQ movement came together to address a concern: While many activists anticipated the legal victory, many also worried that the larger movement for LGBTQ equality would lose momentum in the wake of a win—potentially leaving important issues unaddressed.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Earthquakes rocked Ecuador, Japan, and Myanmar this past weekend, affecting thousands, and reminding all of us how vulnerable communities are to external disaster shocks.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

America’s workforce is challenged with adapting to demands for new skills and additional training as technology continues to influence all facets of the working world. Job descriptions are morphing to meet needs as companies stay competitive in the global marketplace.

Foundations can play an important role in assisting communities and institutions as they continually adjust their sights to ensure that Americans remain strong, capable team members and leaders while companies and organizations keep pace with the ever-changing landscape.

Maria Teresa Kumar grew up in Sonoma, Calif., a daughter of an immigrant field worker, and spent childhood summers in strife-torn Colombia during the drug wars and days of narcos. Shiza Shahid was raised in Islamabad, Pakistan, and was witness to the growing takeover of the Taliban before accepting a scholarship to Stanford University.

United States Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Nani A. Coloretti addressed the annual conference Sunday to describe the federal government’s multi-pronged effort to support American communities and how HUD has developed new strategies in meeting the challenges of today’s population.

It would be natural to assume that HUD would be focused on the “Place” aspect of our conference’s trio of themes -- “Identity, Purpose, Place” -- but Deputy Secretary Coloretti stressed the interconnectivity of all aspects of people’s domestic life and HUD’s role in it.

Executive Director of Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation Nick Tilsen described the struggle of America’s indigenous people both through history and through today’s world. Tilsen remarked how during both periods in history, differing views of the world adversely affected his indigenous peoples’ community.

The perspective of Tilsen’s native Lakota tribe is one of the world being a delicate interrelated network of all resources and living things which opposed the country’s new settlers and their motive of manifest destiny.

Keynote Speaker David McCullough imparted the wisdom attained by a two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and noted historian as it pertained to the conference’s themes of identity, purpose and place Sunday. McCullough weaved snippets of some of his meticulously researched historical subjects and his own personal history to take conference goers on a brisk stroll through what makes America and Americans thrive.

In a special video created for conference attendees, Born This Way Foundation CEO Cynthia Germanotta stated the simple goal: “Support young people and empower them to create a kinder and braver world” for young people “are not only tomorrow’s leaders, but they are leading in tremendous ways today, online, in communities, on campuses and across our world.”

Addressing the conference, Germanotta laid out why youth are an untapped resource for community building.