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.

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Read all this and more, online now!

Council on Foundations 2016 Interns

Toure’ Burgess, Lauren Hamilton, Lauren Wells, Mara Goldman, Sarah Stellwag, and McQuillin Murphy


The Council of Foundations’ summer interns are here!

In our continuing blog post series about the 2015 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report (GSB), this week we are tackling the key findings section of the report.

Get the Report

Members, remember you can download the GSB for free.

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

  • International Tax Reform Blueprint Forthcoming;
  • Chairman Hatch Follows-up with Private Museums;
  • FEMA Releases National Preparedness Report;
  • DAFs & "Pledging" Allegiance to Donors;
  • The Personal Side of State Budget Intransigence.

Read all this and more, online now!

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

I’m pleased to share with you that the 2015 Full Grantmakers Salary and Benefits (GSB) Report is now available for immediate download.

What is the GSB Report?

Today, I am pleased to announce the release of the Council on Foundations’ 2015 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report (GSB). Since the Council first began researching compensation more than 35 years ago, this annual report has grown from a small set of salary tables into one of the most extensive resources in the country. It provides the field with comprehensive data and allows us to look at how our field has developed over time.

Foundations principally use it to:

In this week's Washington Snapshot:

Although the non-profit sector in America is well developed, I’ve often heard foundation and non-profit executives discuss the challenge of attracting and keeping high-performing staff and volunteers. So imagine how that problem is magnified in the developing world, where NGOs make a critical difference every day in the lives of children and families.