Community Foundations Assets, Gifts Reach 'New Heights,' Survey Finds

For the first time since the onset of the Great Recession in 2007, asset, gift, and grant totals at community foundations reached "new heights" in 2012, a survey from the and finds.

Based on data gathered from 276 community foundations with nearly $58 billion in combined assets, the (18 pages, PDF, free registration required) found that, among other things, asset totals for 79 percent of the survey respondents exceeded the previous peak in 2007, while assets in donor-advised funds grew by an average of 22 percent, faster than asset growth overall; that average gift and grant sizes increased by 15 percent and 6 percent, respectively, on a year-over-year basis; and that three-quarters of respondents reported an increase in their overall operating expenses, continuing a trend that began in 2008.

"We hope community foundations across the country find the insights from this year's analysis to be helpful for assessing aspects of performance," said CF Insights executive director Rebecca Graves. "Community foundations make different choices and tradeoffs based on the communities in which they operate, but access to comparative data can help illuminate key challenges and opportunities."

"." Council on Foundations Press Release 08/01/2013.