Exponent Philanthropy: New report details how small-staffed US foundations create change 

Exponent Philanthropy recently released its 2017 Foundation Operations and Management Report. Based on responses from 495 of its more than 2,000 member foundations, all which have few or no staff, the report includes more than 70 pages of data on how member foundations govern, steward their assets, accomplish their administrative work, and carry out their grantmaking.

Among its findings, the report shows the association’s small-staffed foundations:

  • steward more than $80 billion
  • award approximately $4 billion annually
  • issue more than 133,000 grants annually
  • fund around the world.

The foundations surveyed show a commitment to impact, indicated by the prevalence of strategies recognized as good practices in the field, including:

  • making general operating support grants: 77%
  • making multi-year grants: 70%
  • using information received from grantees to inform grantmaking: 60%
  • making capacity-building grants: 62%
  • convening grantees or organizations: 43%

The report also includes data on staff and board compensation, expense ratios, impact investments, and trends over years.

You can read the report here.


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