Private foundations with less than $50 million in assets account for 98% of the approximately 80,000 private foundations in the United States; however, until now, data about this super majority was scant, as most research focused only on the largest private foundations.
The Foundation Source First Annual Report on Private Foundations provides information on asset allocations, grantmaking behavior, and endowment growth/decline based on the actual transactions of 519 Foundation Source clients, all with assets under $50 million, between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. Top findings include:
Of the four asset classes: cash, equities, fixed income, and alternative investments (e.g., private equity, real estate, commodities), the number of foundations using alternative investments as part of their diversification strategy shifted most significantly during the study period. 38.3% of private foundations used alternative investments on January 1, 2008, while 49.3% incorporated them into their investment strategies by December 31, 2011.