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.

September is a month of global conversations and events for the development community. As important actors in the global movement to achieve the ambitious targets within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, foundations play a vital role in this community.

Editor's note: This is part of our blog series featuring current participants in the Career Pathways program. Applications for the 2019 cohort opened in September 5.

The Council on Foundations Awards Program was established to recognize excellence in philanthropy and honor exemplary leaders for their dedication to exploring creative ways to advance the common good.

With the passage of last year’s tax code overhaul, Congress created Opportunity Zones—economically-distressed communities where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment.

This month, thousands of representatives from governments, civil society, and the corporate sector will come together in New York for the 73rd annual United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). Alongside the high-level conversations  within the UN, hundreds of side-events will address the world’s progress towards achieving the ambitious targets within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as ending poverty for all, ensuring gender equality and reducing inequality within and amongst countries.

This is a funders-only meeting to share what funders have learned from their investments in veterans transition and the continuing challenges veterans and their families face as they return to civilian life after military service. Panelists and attendees will share data and metrics, grantmaking challenges, and lessons learned from some of the communities that have committed to welcoming veterans in an intentional way.