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.

The Council on Foundations today announced the release of the 2013 Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report, the most comprehensive information available on staff composition and compensation for U.S. foundations. This year’s report benefited from an increased response rate and will now provide more detailed information and data for the largest foundations.

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

Today, the House Ways and Means Committee met to markup several important bills focused on the charitable sector. One bill would make the charitable “tax extenders”—including the IRA charitable rollover—permanent law. Another would simplify the private foundation excise tax on investment income to a single rate of 1%. The Council has already expressed support for both of these measures. All five bills were passed out of the Committee and will now face a full House of Representatives vote.

What was your life path that led you to philanthropy?
What do you count as your biggest accomplishment in this field?
Can you describe the greatest obstacle you have had to overcome in your career?

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

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

  • Deadline Extended: Submit Your Nominations for the Council Award Program
  • Elevating Philanthropy's Support for Veterans
  • Loyola University Honors Vikki Spruill
  • Healthy Minds Healthy Communities
  • Tweet of the Week

Read it online now!

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden
Launch Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge

Unveil Veterans Philanthropy Exchange

The Council on Foundations wrote to the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) this week to urge them to prioritize several regulations and guidance documents that impact our members. Each year, the Priority Guidance Plan identifies and prioritizes those tax issues that the agencies should address through regulations or revenue rulings, procedures, notices, and guidance throughout the upcoming year.

 

 

The Council on Foundations is excited to launch Seasons of Giving, a quarterly newsletter with valuable insights to help you advance your work and increase your impact.

This newsletter will provide background on some of the major events and trends in the field and highlight resources available to help you carry out your mission.

Today, over 30 philanthropic organizations and corporations announced pledges totaling more than $170 million over the next five years to support veterans and military families. The Philanthropy-Joining Forces Impact Pledge was announced today by Joining Forces and a coalition of leading foundations at an event hosted by the American Red Cross, Council on Foundations, and the White Oak Summit Steering Committee.

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