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

  • Gearing Up for Philanthropy Week in Washington
  • Reminder: Call For Sessions
  • Video: Creating Effective Stories Lawmakers Will Remember
  • Community Foundations Use Information to Drive Impact
  • Deadline Extended: Field Comment on National Standards Revisions

Read the full issue now.

The Community Foundations National Standards Board (CFNSB) announces an extension to the public comment period for the Proposed Revised National Standards. These revisions are being made as part of a five-year review cycle and will remain open to public comment until February 26, 2014.

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

Tell Us About Your Professional Development Needs

Call for Sessions

Be a part of the 2014 Annual Conference: Philanthropy Exchange!

The Council is issuing a Call for Sessions to leading civil and social innovators. We are looking to you for well-developed sessions that offer diverse perspectives, concrete solutions, and fresh insights into our Spotlight Issue: The Role of Philanthropy in an Increasingly Polarized Society

In this issue:

  • Registration is Open for 2014 Annual Conference: Philanthropy Exchange
  • #CF100
  • Second Philanthropy Week Webinar Announced
  • The Council visits the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI

Read the entire issue.

Get Prepared for Philanthropy Week in Washington
Wednesday February 19th from 3-4pm EST

As Philanthropy Week quickly approaches we are excited to offer a webinar geared at getting you up-to-speed on the latest happenings in Washington!

The Council on Foundations is pleased to announce…

Websites are live, registration is now open, and the hotel block is available for Philanthropy Week in Washington 2014!

Now, more than ever, we must protect and enhance philanthropy in America. Philanthropy has been a pillar of our society from the time of our founders. Let’s continue to educate federal lawmakers on the imperative role of philanthropy before proposals that could alter tax policy and uproot the sector’s ability to advance the public good take hold.

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