Community Foundation Asset Growth Stalled in 2018
Manager of Knowledge Services Communications
New York, NY — August 7, 2019. CF Insights, a service of Candid announces the release of the 2018 Columbus Survey results, which provide the most up-to-date information available on the financial situation of U.S community foundations. The latest findings, based on research conducted annually for more than 30 years, is available through an updated, interactive dashboard at columbussurvey.cfinsights.org.
The Columbus Survey is widely known as the “annual census of the community foundation field.” This year more than 250 community foundations, which collectively hold over 90 percent of the field’s assets, participated. Together, reporting community foundations held nearly $86.8 billion in assets in 2018, an increase of less than one half of one percent from 2017’s reported total. During a year in which the investment market showed signs of increasing volatility, median community foundation assets grew less than 1 percent. Change in assets showed a notable split depending on the respondent’s fiscal year end (FYE) date. Community foundations whose fiscal years ended in June or earlier saw assets grow 9 percent. Community foundations operating on a calendar-year basis experienced a median 3 percent decrease in asset totals from the year before. The latter figure reflects the market slowdown during the second half of the year and especially in November and December.
This year, the Columbus Survey Results Dashboard features additional data on the activity and growth of donor-advised funds, plus newly expanded lists of foundations by asset size, distribution rate, total (gift and grant) transactions, and gifts per capita. These rankings now include all participants after previously featuring only the top 100 in each category. David Rosado, director of CF Insights, said, “This dashboard was designed to evolve with the conversation around the community foundation field, while continuing to provide an up-to-date, collective financial snapshot. We’re excited to share these latest enhancements, including the addition of two new data points related to donor-advised funds, to help inform broader conversations about trends in the field.”
As more foundations contribute their data, CF Insights will continue to build out the data and analysis. The foundations that contributed to this year’s data set can go to cfinsights.org to access a wider range of comparative and longitudinal reports. Additionally, CF Insights members can access online benchmarking reports comparing their 2018 performance to peers of their choosing.
Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces in 2019 to become Candid, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world. Find out more at candid.org.
About CF Insights
The idea behind CF Insights is simple: What if each community foundation could know what all community foundations collectively know? CF Insights, a service of Candid, responds to a hunger for shared knowledge and greater impact among U.S. community foundations. Community foundations grow stronger when their decisions are based on timely, accurate, and complete information. Through CF Insights, community foundations improve performance and sustainability—individually and collectively. For information about CF Insights membership, consulting services, and free tools and research, visit cfinsights.org or tweet @cfinsights.