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.

Join us for a webinar sponsored by the Military Family Research Institute at Purdue University to learn more about access to care for military veterans and their families. This webinar will explore the scientific realities behind an important policy issue. Specific topics will include the barriers to care, access to care, the behavioral health work force, and family focused systems of care. The goal of this webinar is not to make specific policy recommendations but rather to increase the impact of science in policy. 

In anticipation of important upcoming regulatory developments that will impact your global grantmaking, the Council is pleased to host the first in a series of conversations about cross-border philanthropy.

Are you having trouble with the Exchange? Have no fear! I'm here to help.

This webinar covered how to post, search the libraries, and find other members. It's an easy way to get to know this new platform and learn all the great things it has to offer.

Please join Council on Foundations members and others within the Southern California philanthropic community for a unique program to learn about the opportunities and challenges affecting the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors at a local, state, and federal levels as the 2016 election cycle gets underway.

Learn more about how you can maximize the Council's network to further enhance your work in the field. Senior leaders from the Council discussed additional services, initiatives, and updates that have an impact on the larger philanthropic community and Council members.

Free Webinar Open to All Philanthropic Organizations
Wednesday, January 7, 2015 at 1pm ET

D5′s 2014 State of the Work highlights new tools and resources, recently completed research, and new organizational approaches that can help foundations and philanthropic organizations take action, achieve their goals regarding DEI, and advance the common good.

This study conducted by Forward Change provides a holistic, in-depth picture of the career experiences of 43 philanthropic professionals of color ranging from Program Officers to CEOs working in a diverse array of foundations.

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