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.

The Council on Foundations was proud to recently sponsor and participate in the George W. Bush Institute’s Stand-To National Veterans Convening, a summit focused on veteran transition.

The 2016 Full Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report offers the most comprehensive information in the field of grantmaking on compensation levels and salary administration. This report contains:

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Today, the Council on Foundations released the following statement from President and CEO Vikki Spruill:

One year ago today, our nation was rocked by the horrific attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. In a message expressing our solidarity with those affected by the attack, we noted that it was particularly tragic because this event occurred at a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) nightclub during the very month that many across the nation were celebrating LGBTQ pride.