“Private Wealth” Article: Private Foundations a Family Affair

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Categories: News

By Karen DeMasters, Private Wealth

Most private foundations are actually closely knit family foundations, according to a survey released Thursday by the Foundation Source, a support and resource organization for private foundations.

Family members are intimately involved in most private foundations and a major goal of foundation creators is to pass on philanthropy as a way of life to future generations, according to the Family Engagement Survey. The survey included 203 foundations, most with less than $50 million in assets, which is the asset level that makes up 98 percent of the 90,000 private foundations in the United States.

“For many high-­net-­worth donors, private foundations are family enterprises, so engaging the family is a critical success factor,” says Page Snow, chief philanthropic officer for Foundation Source. “Clients often tell us that their foundations provide an opportunity to transmit values to younger generations, bond through shared good work and establish a family tradition of giving back.”

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