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Family Foundations

Did Family Photoyou know?
Family foundations are private foundations whose grantmaking is directed primarily by the founder and/or founder's family. Family philanthropy lets donors incorporate their own values into their giving. Learn more.

Family foundations -- from very small, trustee-led organizations to some of the largest grantmakers in the state -- are MCF's largest member group.

The following information and resources provide those engaged in family philanthropy with the latest thinking about strengthening family values through engaged giving, as well as about creating a meaningful difference in the communities they support.

Considering starting a family foundation?
The Toolkit for Giving will inform you of your options.

If you're interested in exploring the benefits of MCF membership, read about our specific services for family foundations (PDF). View our Member Roster to see a complete list of our family foundation members.

MCF Resources

  • Non-Family Foundation Professionals (NFFP) Network
    The MCF-member-only network is exclusively for staff members of family foundations who are not members of the donor's family. Non-family foundation professionals discuss issues in a private online forum and meet to exchange ideas about working in this unique context. In addition to the NFFP Network, MCF faciltates other networks of interest to family foundation trustees and staff, such as those focusing on funding interests and job roles. Members can learn more on the MCF Networks page.
  • National Center for Family Philanthropy (NCFP)
    MCF partners with the National Center for Family Philanthropy to provide members with exclusive access to the Family Philanthropy Online service, which offers complimentary monthly webinars, sample policies and practices, and briefing papers specially designed for boards and staff of family philanthropies. To access these resources, MCF members can contact Tara Kumar, MCF program manager, to sign up for a Family Philanthropy online account.
  • Philanthropy Potluck Blog: Posts Featuring Family Foundations
    Updated regularly, MCF's Philanthropy Potluck Blog frequently shares the giving stories of family foundations in the state.
  • Top 25 Minnesota Private Foundations
    View the latest list of Minnesota's largest private family and independent foundations ranked by grants paid.
  • Giving Forum: Family Philanthropy - Deepening Connections, Building Legacies, Strengthening Values
    Explore family philanthropy and how it deepens connections, builds legacies, and strengthens shared values of Minnesota families. This edition of MCF's quarterly newspaper features interviews with family foundation trustees and staff.
  • MCF Program Resources
    Available exclusively to MCF members, catch up on resources from conferences and other MCF events held for family foundations.

More Resources

MsalasStaff Contact
Maria Salas, director of member services

Family foundation members looking for resources or wanting to connect with colleagues are invited to contact Maria.

Photo at Top of Page CC Sam Pullara

The Latest

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George Family Foundation Awards $1.6 Million in Latest Grant Round

(July 13, 2015) — Underwriting online leadership training to address issues within a national fraternal organization, understanding the impact of gender norm...

Gayle Ober Named President of the George Family Foundation

(July 9, 2015) — The George Family Foundation, a private family foundation established by Penny and Bill George with an interest in integrative health, authen...

The McKnight Foundation Approves Over $12.1 Million in 2nd-quarter 2015 Grantmaking

(June 30, 2015) - The McKnight Foundation awarded 65 grants totaling $12,161,000 to 60 organizations in its second-quarter 2015 grantmaking. Information about i...

The John & Denise Graves Foundation Announces Over $500,000 in Education Equity Grants

(May 26, 2015) - The John and Denise Graves Foundation is pleased to announce grants to 12 programs and organizations to further the foundation’s education eq...

Grotto Foundation, Inc. Awards 32 Grants Totaling $764,250

(May 21, 2015) – Grotto Foundation, Inc. approved $764,250 in grants to 32 nonprofits serving Minnesota and surrounding states during its most recent fiscal y...