Family Foundations

Grade Level: 
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Family Foundation
Family Philanthropy
next generation
Video Clip and Discussion Guide: There are more than 38,000 family foundations across the United States. Family foundations are established in order for individuals to share their wealth and address an issue they care about. The founders' children and grandchildren sit down together for years to carry on the giving. This video shares how they continue and adapt the founders' vision.

Anticipatory Set

Define family foundation (n) as an independent private foundation whose funds are derived from members of a single family. You probably hear the names of family foundations supporting public radio and TV. They support causes they care about and involve family in smart giving across generations. Why do you think someone would want to start a family foundation to give away their money? 



  1. What is a legacy? Why do you think someone would want to pass on a legacy?
  2. Many family foundations want to teach the next generation to carry on their vision. What do you think are the steps to teach young people to give?
  3. What do you want your children and grandchildren to be talking about when they sit down together?
  4. How does a family foundation keep families together and talking?

Follow-Up Activity

Research a family foundation in your regional area or interest area.

  1. What do they fund?
  2. What are their values?
  3. How many generations are involved in giving?
  4. For how long have they been a family foundation?
  5. How does this research impact your ideas about your own legacy?