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.

Goal 5: Gender Equality

- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls -

Sustainable Development Goal 5 Gender Equality

Goal 4: Quality Education

- Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning -

Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being

- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages -

Sustainable Development Goal 3 Good Health

Goal 2: Zero Hunger

- End hunger, achieve food security, and promote sustainable agriculture -

Sustainable Development Goal 2 End Hunger

Goal 1: No Poverty

- End poverty in all its forms everywhere -

Sustainable Development Goal 1 No Poverty

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Congressional Leaders Champion Social Investment;
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  • Corporate Foundations & Funding Talent Pipelines: An Act of Self-Dealing;
  • Minnesota Cities Can't Tax Tax-Exempt Properties by Calling Assessments "Fees".

Read all this and more, online now!

17 Days, 17 Goals - philanthropy's work on the Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainability. Quality education. Poverty reduction. Gender equality.

Stephanie Bell-Rose is the Senior Managing Director and Head of the TIAA Institute.

The Council on Foundations’ 2016 Endowments and Finance Summit is just around the corner – Sept. 28-30 – and as co-chair of the convening's working group, I strongly encourage you to register for it!

To keep you in the know about happenings that affect foundations that fund across borders and new opportunities for learning, sharing, and collaboration, I am excited to introduce you to the Council’s new Global Philanthropy Update. Every month, we will highlight resources available through the Council and share important news from the field.