Assets and giving of US private foundations at record levels


Alliance magazine


On 14 November, Foundation Source released a new report looking at the investment behaviour of private foundations with less than $50 million in assets. Foundations of this size constitute 98 per cent of the 84,000 private foundations in the US. Trends in Private Foundation Investment details how these foundations fared from 2008 through to the end of 2013. The report findings are based on the actual investment holdings, asset balances and expenses of 238 Foundation Source clients.

Top findings from the 2014 report include:

  • Foundation assets have recovered strongly since 2008. Overall, asset levels have increased by 48 per cent. In the six-year span covered by this report, asset balances for these 238 foundations grew from $700 million to more than $1 billion, an increase of $334 million.
  • Despite nearly uniform investment portfolio performance for foundations of every size, the resulting endowment balances were surprisingly inconsistent. While midsized ($1 million – $10 million) and larger foundations ($10 million – $50 million) enjoyed steady and robust endowment gains, the endowments of smaller foundations (less than $1 million) remained flat. This was likely because smaller foundations typically distribute a greater percentage of their assets than their larger counterparts.

Click here to read the full press release and to download the report.

The previous week, on 5 November, the Foundation Center released a new edition of Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, according to which the country’s 86,192 foundations held $715 billion in assets and distributed a record $52 billion in 2012. This annual research study estimates 2013 giving at $54.7 billion and the outlook for 2014 is for growth to continue ahead of inflation, with independent and family foundations growing at a higher rate than other types of foundation.

Click here to download the report.

Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *