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).

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Now that Opportunity Zones have been designated, individual and corporate investors are then given the opportunity to defer capital gains taxes when they reinvest the earnings in these communities. Additional incentives accrue over five, seven and ten years if the investment is maintained – thereby promoting the kind of patient capital that distressed communities so often lack. Get more of the resources you need to learn about Opportunity Zones from the US Impact Investing Alliance.

The OZ program is intended to spur long-term investments in low-income census tracts in the U.S. The new law allows investors to place unrealized capital gains (a profit from an investment that hasn’t yet been sold) into authorized O Funds that invest capital into OZs. The greatest benefits would go to investors who invest for 10 or more years. Learn more from the Mission Investors Exchange about the benefits, risks, and potential of opportunity zones.

With the creation of the federal Opportunity Zones incentive program, trillions of dollars in new private investment will flow into pre-designated low-income communities around the country. But will this investment benefit the people living in these communities now, or will they be displaced as new interest and development brings increased property values and rents? And what kind of development will result —unsustainable, car-dependent sprawl (the dominant growth paradigm in the United States today) or walkable, mixed-use communities with a variety of housing options for everyone?

Treasury and IRS have issued an initial set of proposed regulations and guidance on how the Qualified Opportunity Zone tax benefits under IRC 1400Z-2 (including the certification of Qualified Opportunity Funds and eligible investments in Qualified Opportunity Zones) will be administered.

Editable internal polices for staff, board members and committee members about the use of social media.

Led by Bryan Del Rosario, Staff Counsel for the Council on Foundations, and Lindsay Mason, Director of Corporate Philanthropy, this workshop is organized to ensure common legal questions for administering grants, board governance and charitable giving activities are addressed. Bryan will provide technical and practical understanding of complex rules and regulations impacting private and corporate foundations/giving programs.

In April 2017, the Veterans Philanthropy Exchange, a veterans funders’ network hosted by the Council on Foundations, devoted a portion of its fifth annual convening to discuss what interests, challenges, and needs might drive a future agenda in veterans’ philanthropy. While the deliberation process continues around the idea of a national agenda for the sector, this document summarizes insights and ideas from that recent discussion, and is intended to contribute philanthropic thought for the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-To/National Veterans Convening on June 22-23, 2017.

“White Oak” is the informal name used to denote a series of conferences originally titled “America Joins Forces for Military Families” and initially held at the White Oak plantation in Jacksonville, FL in 2010 and 2012. White Oak retreats encourage creative thinking, collaboration and relationship-building across sectors in support of military members, veterans, their families, caregivers and survivors among the major non-profit military service organizations, related government offices, and other key philanthropic partners and contributors to this cause.