A just-released joint study from the Council on Foundations-Commonfund Institute report a asset growth in 2012 of 12% amount a group of 140 surveyed foundations. This is encouraging news — it represents a veritable “tidal shift” over the minus 0.7 returns reported in 2011 in a similar study.
Certainly, many of us have heard that grantmaker boards taken both a sharper eye and a sharper pencil to investment strategies since the Great Recession began. And this news may bear out that changes in these strategies are paying dividends to the investors. The larger question is whether asset growth will add up to increased dividends to grantees.
One initial sign that growth in investment income may be pointing to some resurgence in foundation philanthropy is the reported 4.4% increase in 2012 foundation giving reported in Giving USA, this after three to four years of virtually no growth (in inflation-adjusted dollars) in such philanthropy.
Read more about the study here: https://www.commonfund.org/InvestorResources/CommonfundNews/Documents/2012%20CCSF%20Press%20Release%20-%20FINAL.pdf
A spike in earnings or a sign of some positive lasting change? And is this change you are seeing and feeling in your grantseeking efforts? Please add your thoughts below.