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. Due to the large number of resources on our website, we highly recommend you use the site navigation or the search feature to find what you are looking for.

COVID-19 has prompted a rapid response from funders to channel funding to organizations across the world. To make this happen efficiently, global intermediaries have stepped up to support individuals, foundations, and corporations in directing support to charitable organizations in Asia & the Pacific, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.
Council on Foundations is committed to keeping the Career Pathways core value of community, equity, learning, and development present for the 2020 participants. This monthly leadership development hour is a virtual opportunity for participants to learn and discuss a host of topics – from national issues to sector solutions. For more information about Career Pathways leadership development program, visit cof.org/careerpathways
Council on Foundations is committed to keeping the Career Pathways core value of community, equity, learning, and development present for the 2020 participants. This monthly leadership development hour is a virtual opportunity for participants to learn and discuss a host of topics – from national issues to sector solutions. For more information about Career Pathways leadership development program, visit cof.org/careerpathways
Council on Foundations is committed to keeping the Career Pathways core value of community, equity, learning, and development present for the 2020 participants. This monthly leadership development hour is a virtual opportunity for participants to learn and discuss a host of topics – from national issues to sector solutions. For more information about Career Pathways leadership development program, visit cof.org/careerpathways
Council on Foundations is committed to keeping the Career Pathways core value of community, equity, learning, and development present. This community-building hour is a virtual opportunity for Alumni and the current cohort to connect, reflect, share, or discuss. For more information about Career Pathways leadership development program, visit cof.org/careerpathways
In this week's edition of Snapshot: News from the Hill, Executive and Regulatory Affairs and Happening in the States.
The Council on Foundations joins with other national philanthropy serving organizations to stand in solidarity with ABFE: A Philanthropic Partnership for Black Communities in their call for philanthropy to take action on anti-Black racism.
The Council is a co-sponsor of this webinar from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, which is designed to help raise awareness of the intersection of mental health and COVID-19.
The Council is a co-sponsor of this webinar from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, will explore the unique aspects of response and recovery for a worldwide pandemic, with a focus on international grantmaking to support communities in developing nations.
Council on Foundations is committed to keeping the Career Pathways core value of community, equity, learning, and development present. This community-building hour is a virtual opportunity for Alumni to connect, reflect, share, or discuss. For more information about Career Pathways leadership development program, visit cof.org/careerpathways