Saturday, December 5, 2009

Community Foundations Saw a 27% Drop in Asset Value

Community foundations suffered steep investment losses last year, ending a five-year streak of positive returns and damaging their purchasing power, according to a new report from the Council on Foundations, an organization that represents grant makers.

A survey of 200 council members found a median return of -27 percent for community-foundation investments in 2008. The dismal performance brought down the industry’s median return over the 20 years ending last year to 7.9 percent.

Assuming a 5.5 percent spending rate, and taking into account the period’s average annual inflation of 2.8 percent, community foundations have fallen short of the returns needed to maintain their purchasing power, the report says.

Read the rest of the Chronicle of Philanthropy article

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