Major Community Foundation Benchmarks Hit New Highs in 2012

Last year’s asset levels show biggest growth since 2007

Community foundation asset, gift and grant amounts reached new highs in 2012 for the first time since the recession, according to a report released Tuesday by the Council on Foundations and CF Insights.

Researchers collected data from 276 organizations, including those representing more than 90% of total estimated community foundation assets.

The study found that the community foundation sector represents $58 billion in assets, $6.9 billion in gifts and $4.5 billion in grants. Seventy-nine percent of community foundations had 2012 asset levels that exceeded those of 2007.

Between 2011 and 2012, assets experienced average growth of 9%, gifts 15% and grants 6%.

Seventy-five percent of community foundations increased their operating budget in 2012.

According to the study, administrative fees still drive community foundation revenue, accounting for about 65% of total revenue on average. Although most community foundations surveyed had a diversified revenue base, this was particularly true for smaller entities.

Half of small community foundations’ revenue came from administrative fee, compared with 70% for midsize ones and 76% for large groups.

In another significant finding, donor advisors increased assets held in community foundation donor-advised funds by 22% on average, faster growth than for assets overall.

Excluding supporting organizations, DAFs represented 69% of total gifts and 61% of total grants for community foundations. 

Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.