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

Graves Family Foundation Awards $755k in Inaugural Grants, Announces Education Equity, Homeless and Foster Youth Grant Cycles

The John and Denise Graves Foundation is pleased to announce its inaugural grants as a family foundation serving the greater Minneapolis area. The Graves Famil...

Butler Family Foundation Announces Staff Changes

(Oct. 12, 2014) - The Butler Family Foundation has hired Robert Hybben in the newly created position of Director of Program Operations. Bob’s professional ex...

McKnight Approves $26.9 Million in 3rd Quarter 2014 Grantmaking

(Sept. 19, 2014) - The McKnight Foundation awarded 92 grants totaling $26,959,000 to 85 organizations in its third-quarter 2014 grantmaking. Information about i...

The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota Approves $1,220,000 in Grants

(Sept. 18, 2014) - In August, the foundation's trustees approved 16 grants totaling $1,220,000. These grants cover most areas of the foundation’s grantmaking ...

Bernick Family Foundation to Award $150,000

(Aug. 1, 2014) - The Bernick Family Foundation announced today plans to award $150,000 to community projects focused on youth and education and health and fitne...