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.

Last year, the Council and ICNL convened foundations to discuss how a draft Foreign NGO law in China might impact their work. The Council also submitted formal comments about concerns with this law to the Chinese government.

Modern life is full of data—a lot of data. Sometimes it feels simply overwhelming. And that’s especially true in the philanthropic sector. It can feel like our work is simply an endless string of profiles, templates, accounts, applications, and reports. If we aren’t thoughtful about it, the flow of data in philanthropy could be a barrier to effectiveness instead of a way to amplify our impact.

Members of the Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge and the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange will gather for  learning and sharing. Any funders supporting veterans and military families are encouraged to join this learning exchange.

Join the Congressional Philanthropy Caucuses, staff, the Council on Foundations, and valued partners for a reception on Thursday, April 14 during Philanthropy Week in Washington 2016. This reception  will celebrate and lift up the critical role of philanthropy in communities and the importance of engaging philanthropy as a stakeholder in policy discussions.

“If You Can Make It Here, You Can Make It Anywhere":
How the Sustainable Development Goals connect local challenges to worldwide efforts

There are significant challenges facing American communities today, including growing domestic inequality and increased poverty. In New York, members of the philanthropic community work in a variety of innovative and collaborative ways to improve quality of life and create sustainable local communities. 

2016 Global Philanthropy Dinner - Uprooted Communities: Our Global Migration Challenge

The 2016 Annual Global Philanthropy Dinner will provide a space for conference attendees to meet and connect before the full conference begins on Sunday. Dinner will feature a number of leading experts who will discuss how the global migration challenge is impacting communities around the world, the root causes and challenges that have led to growing migration flows, and what role philanthropy can play when responding to this crisis.

The panel discussion will feature:

This webinar was postponed but will be rescheduled. Check back here for updates.

Modern life is full of data—a lot of data. Sometimes it feels simply overwhelming. And that’s especially true in the philanthropic sector. It can feel like our work is simply an endless string of profiles, templates, accounts, applications, and reports. If we aren’t thoughtful about it, the flow of data in philanthropy could be a barrier to effectiveness instead of a way to amplify our impact.

 

 

This Quarterly Member Update focuses on two major bodies of work. During the first portion of the update, conversation will focus on the Council’s public policy Guideposts, which are the framework for our policy work. These Guideposts have informed the development of the 2016 Philanthropy Platform, and are previewed during the discussion.

Storytelling is a powerful way to broadly engage a community and hear from voices that often go unheard. Hear how storytelling has brought residents together, bridged long-standing divides, and ultimately helped community foundations make positive, lasting, and meaningful impact.