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.

When my grandparents, Sam and Helen Walton, set the course for our family’s philanthropic vision in the late 1980s, they set out to make lasting change by empowering individuals. My grandfather often said there is no limit to what can be accomplished when people are given opportunity and incentive, and my grandmother reinforced that giving back was the most important undertaking our family could do together.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

This is reprinted from an original post on Washington Monthly.

To view the “Successes of Philanthropy” series, kindly visit Washington Monthly.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • This Week in Tax Reform...;
  • Congress Grows More Skeptical of Universities;
  • FASB Seeks Foundation Input;
  • Single Portal Filing Project Seeks Information;
  • Accepting Promissory Notes and Other Debt Instruments;
  • Giving Incentives on State Legislative Agendas.

Read all this and more, online now!

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • News from the Hill;
  • IRS Releases Proposed Rules for Supporting Organizations;
  • Philanthropy Weighs in on Pennsylvania Budget Impasse;
  • South Carolina, Connecticut Announce New Pay for Success Deals.

Read all this and more, online now!

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Ways & Means Working Toward Tax Reform;
  • Primary Season is Officially Underway;
  • Adding Scholarship Restriction for Renewal Purposes;
  • Emerging State Issue: Turning to States to Solve the Impasse Over Obamacare.

Read all this and more, online now!

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Hatch's Tax Reform Plan Could Impact Nonprofits;
  • First Ways & Means Hearing of the Year Rescheduled;
  • Contributing Trustee Compensation to a DAF;
  • The Year Opens with State Budget Challenges and Opportunities;
  • Op-Ed Calls for the Sector to Strive for Increased Charitable Giving.

Read all this and more, online now!

Also viewable on LinkedIn Pulse.

Recently, I saw the power of what happens when you put a few dozen foundation CEOs in a room together to discuss the future. They generate as many questions for each other as answers, and, as the head of the Council on Foundations, I’d say that’s a great thing for the communities philanthropy serves. After all, learning and leading together is how lasting solutions are made.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • Upcoming Ways & Means Hearing Will Address Tax Reform;
  • New Changes to IRS Advisory Committee on Exempt Organizations;
  • Update: New Jersey Hospital Property Tax Remains in Flux;
  • Illinois Leading Efforts to Implement Federal Grants Reform;
  • Philanthropy is Projected to Increase in 2016 and 2017.

Read all this and more, online now!