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.

HR & Trendspotting: Parental Leave, The Hunt for Talent, Driving Human Capital with Data, and Integrated Performance Management.

In 2017, HR is expected to adapt to keep up with the changing business environment and evolving employee expectations.


2017 Council Awards Program

The Council is now accepting nominations for:

Pepper the robot.

Pepper is a robot companion from the Japanese company SoftBank.


On December 1, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and the Asia/Pacific Group on Money Laundering (APG) released their fourth mutual evaluation of the United States anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing framework.* The report analyzes the United States’ level of compliance with

My great aunt, Georgeanna Gibbs Browne, born in 1876 in Philadelphia, was a victim of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). Her upbringing was church-going and “upper crust.” Newspaper clippings describe her twirling across dance floors at summer soirees and charity balls.

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened

How did we get it so wrong? (Photo Credit: Marco Verch / CC-BY-SA-4.0)


During my seven-year tenure as superintendent of Guilford County Schools, I was committed to listening to and learning from others. I listened to parents, teachers and students to understand what we could do in order to make our schools better for each child. Much of that listening and learning contributed to the development of the school district’s first-ever strategic plan, which through the work of many, resulted in notable student achievements, both academic and non-academic.

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened

Map of the world depicting where civic freedoms are threatened (green is open; red is closed). For those interested in social justice, democracy, and rights around the world, 2016 was an annus horribilis.


At the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines, we’ve been talking about how to deal with minor successors being named on a fund. We started looking into it after reading a discussion about it on the Philanthropy Exchange. It’s a tricky situation: If your fund adviser is underage, they may not be in a position to correctly advise.