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.

In This Week at the Council you'll read about:

  • Activate in August
  • Preconference Programs at the 2014 Fall Conference
  • Military Families and Mental Health
  • New Donor Advised Fund Research

Read all this and more online today!

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.

Population-focused funds (PFFs) are giving vehicles established by and for members of racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sexual-orientation, and other identity-based communities to address critical issues within those communities.

To support leaders in their efforts to take meaningful action to address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their organizations, D5 commissioned JustPartners, Inc. to identify the most effective policies, practices, and programs to advance DEI.

In this week's This Week at the Council, you'll find:

  • House Bill is a Big Win for Foundations
  • Community Foundations are "Coming Home"
  • Finalists Announced for 2014 Council Awards Program
  • Take Part in the #CF100 Video Contest
  • Philanthropy and Unaccompanied Children on the US Border
  • And More!

Read it all, available online!

This afternoon, the United States House of Representatives passed an important legislative package impacting philanthropy, the “America Gives More Act of 2014” (H.R. 4719), with a bipartisan super-majority vote of 277-130.

While a sizable number of Democrats voted against the bill because of concerns over how to pay for these provisions, they nonetheless expressed support for the policies advanced by the charitable provisions in the bill.

When we face a new challenge, one of our first instincts is to reach out to someone for advice. By collaborating, sharing resources, and discussing common challenges, you and your peers multiply your impact and advance the common good.

The Council on Foundations invites you to participate in the 2014 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Survey, one of the most important and effective foundation management tools in the field. The survey collects information on benefits policies and practices, as well as compensation data for 35 positions at community, corporate, private, public, and operating foundations. The Council’s online platform, Benchmark Central (bmc.cof.org), enables survey participants to benchmark themselves against their peers by grantmaker type, asset size, state, or region.

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