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.


As the end of 2015 nears and Congress gears up to take action before the session ends, the philanthropic sector is coming together to make our voice heard.

Many foundation staff remain mystified (and enamored) with mission investing and the promise it holds for leveraging foundation resources to support their missions. However, it is clear that many foundations do not fully understand the full complement of mission investing strategies and how to implement them effectively.

This white paper provides a review of critical governance issues that foundations must consider to remain in compliance with prevailing and emerging laws and regulations. Readers can expect content focused on Trustee fiduciary responsibilities as relates to duties of care, loyalty, and responsibility.

This white paper outlines best practices with proven results that foundations can use to find and create a diverse and inclusive staff and investment advisory team. Readers will learn how to make the business case for more diverse and equitable strategies and link success in this area with investment results.

Partner Opportunities

Join us as a Partner at the 2016 Annual Conference

The philanthropic community will come together at the 2016 Annual Conference to address some of today's toughest challenges. The Council on Foundations' Annual Conference brings together global leaders from across philanthropy to develop the ideas and strategies that will shape the future.

The Council on Foundations maintains a no-solicitation policy covering all of its conferences, meetings, webinars and other events. In order to provide a distraction-free environment for our members and other attendees, we do not allow solicitation of any kind during any event, including asking for business, soliciting fund management services, distributing grant proposals, or requesting grant funding. Additionally, Council members expect that participation in Council events will not result in future solicitations unless the member specifically invites future contact.

Preconference Programming

Separate registration is required for all of these events. Space is limited. Register now!

Online Registration

To make the online registration process as fast and simple as possible, you must have an account with the Council. Once you log in, the online registration system will auto-fill your contact information and assign the correct pricing for the event.

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Hotel & Travel

All conference sessions and activities will take place at The Washington Hilton unless otherwise noted.

The Washington Hilton

1919 Connecticut Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 483-3000