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.

The Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act would decelerate the expansion of charitable giving by adding complexity for foundations and donors and making it harder for philanthropy to address emerging and long-term challenges.
On June 9, 2021, Senators King (I-ME) and Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Accelerating Charitable Efforts (ACE) Act. The bill modifies existing rules relating to donor advised funds (“DAFs”), creates an excise tax on sponsoring organizations, and makes certain changes to the rules governing private foundations. The Council on Foundations opposes the ACE Act because, in its current form, the Act would do the exact opposite of decelerate the expansion of charitable giving in the United States.
2021 HR Retreat Sponsorship Opportunities
Schedule for the 2021 HR Retreat.
Registration for the 2021 HR Retreat
Working Group for the 2021 HR Retreat.
Today, the Council on Foundations announced a new strategy that sets forth a 20-year direction heading for the organization. Motivated by a vision of philanthropy as a trusted partner in advancing the greater good, the Council’s new strategic direction challenges philanthropy to make progress on a set of key outcomes.
As organizations continue COVID-19 response efforts, HR leaders in philanthropy are thoughtfully introducing innovative practices about returning to work, while coping with new and complex challenges. Join the Council and CHANGE Philanthropy for a facilitated, small-group dialogue to explore the implications of a returning workforce to the office.
Native Americans are a richly diverse and growing population, but as an ethnicity, they are disproportionately affected by disasters. This reality is true for those who live on reservations and in urban areas. And yet, Native Americans are greatly underfunded by philanthropy: From 2002 to 2016, large U.S. foundations gave, on average, 0.4% of total annual giving explicitly for Native American communities and causes
Community foundations and place-based funders should be aware of the impending rental evictions crisis on the horizon. Money is available in every state to help renters who are behind on rent due to the pandemic’s impacts and are at risk of eviction when the federal pandemic eviction moratorium ends on July 31. Challenges lie in the inadequacies of local government systems to execute a fast distribution of these relief funds.