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.

Interested in taking an important step towards foundation financial management excellence? Is your foundation committed to diversity, equity and inclusion? Regardless of your answers, you will want to join this webinar to learn how your foundation can demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusive investment management practices. This webinar will share the Silicon Valley Community Foundation's progress and hear findings from their Investment Manager Diversity Report.

Sharing knowledge with stakeholders is an important part of many nonprofit programs, but what does this look like? To answer this question, the Cornerstone OnDemand Foundation and NTEN: The Nonprofit Technology Network surveyed nonprofits and foundations to understand the most common online learning strategies organizations are using to train their employees, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Join us for this webinar to get an early look at the insights gained from the survey and discover how your organization aligns with others in the sector.

Connectivity is a path to greater opportunity. In today's world, having access to broadband and fluency with technology fuel economic growth, provides access to the better paying jobs, promotes skill development, and builds stronger and more connected communities.

The Council on Foundations exists to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools philanthropic organizations need to make a meaningful difference. As a national organization with a large and diverse membership, the Council possesses a unique ability to offer strategic leadership for philanthropy in its many forms.

In helping foundations LEAD TOGETHER, the Council aims to help grantmakers leverage their resources for common purposes.

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.