Assets of U.S. Community Foundations Fell 27 Percent

Washington, DC (October 15, 2009)- Community foundations saw the value of their assets fall 27 percent during 2008, a new report from the Council on Foundations finds.

Based on a survey of two hundred community foundations, the 2008 Investment Performance and Practices of Community Foundations Report found that 52.3 percent of total community foundation assets in 2008 were invested in equities, 25 percent in fixed income, 20.2 percent in alternative strategies, and 2.5 percent in cash. The report also found that community foundations’ equity exposure fell by nearly 7 percent in 2008- the steepest decline since 1996. According to the report, the decline may simply reflect the impact of the dramatic late-year swoon in the markets rather than an active shift toward lower holdings in this area.
In addition, the report found that over the past ten years community foundations’ international equity exposure has risen significantly, reaching 16.5 percent of total portfolio assets, or 31.5 percent of equity exposure, and that their exposure to alternative asset classes had jumped from less than 1 percent in 1999 to 20.2 percent in 2008, with hedge funds remaining the largest alternative strategy.
Related Resources:
Council on Foundations