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Assets, Gifts, and Grants

After FY 2016 saw the field experience a slight uptick in asset growth, the community foundation field saw accelerated growth in FY 2017, both in the aggregate and among individual community foundations. The field’s total reported assets increased by 19%, at least partially due to wider market conditions producing strong investment returns for community foundations across the field.

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Total Reported Assets, Gifts, & Grants

Total Reported Assets, Gifts, & Grants Over Time

Focusing on asset, gift, and grant totals for the Top 100 largest community foundations allows for a consistent sample, which remains reflective of overall field growth trends. As noted above, significant asset growth is observed, while gift and grant totals saw relatively more modest increases over 2016 levels. Still, gift and grant totals for this group both reach new highs.

Year Assets Gifts Grants
2008 $38,917,931,737 $4,465,253,001 $3,904,732,475
2009 $40,409,834,343 $3,594,008,133 $3,587,914,735
2010 $43,734,774,105 $4,041,853,599 $3,665,284,784
2011 $44,905,303,288 $4,464,150,289 $3,602,819,432
2012 $49,633,058,279 $5,995,084,149 $3,913,778,333
2013 $57,987,755,039 $6,832,015,126 $4,374,485,233
2014 $64,005,157,664 $7,765,424,152 $5,297,769,257
2015 $65,957,488,326 $7,167,504,052 $5,964,523,728
2016 $69,580,574,413 $8,168,288,097 $6,860,661,534
2017 $82,720,579,829 $8,940,745,162 $7,941,608,650

Changes in Gift and Grant Activity

While the median community foundation saw a 1.3% decrease in gifts received from FY 2015-FY 2016, the median in 2017 was an 7.1%. Changes in gift totals tend to vary greatly from year to year and among community foundations; nearly 40% of all respondents saw gift totals change by more than half in either direction. Grant totals tend to stay steadier than gift totals, with close to half of all respondents seeing grantmaking totals change less than 20%.

Median change in gifts
7%

  • Dramatic Decrease
  • Moderate Decrease
  • Neutral
  • Moderate Increase
  • Dramatic Increase

Median change in grants
10%

  • Dramatic Decrease
  • Moderate Decrease
  • Neutral
  • Moderate Increase
  • Dramatic Increase
Type of Activity Dramatic Decrease Moderate Decrease Neutral Moderate Increase Dramatic Increase Median Change
Gifts 13% 24% 15% 24% 24% 7%
Grants 4% 17% 29% 34% 16% 10%

Median Gifts and Grants Per Capita

The concentration of high net worth donors in large urban centers is reflected in per capita gift and grant totals at larger community foundations.

Access the data for all participating community foundations