Survey results


Differences in community foundation size are reflected in their different operating models and product focus.

Endowed and non-endowed assets

Smaller community foundations tend to have a much higher proportion of endowed assets than their larger counterparts.

Product mix

Donor-advised funds tend to make up a more significant portion of assets in larger community foundations, which, while also having a higher proportion of non-endowed assets, could be reflective of their ability to provide flexible grantmaking options to their donors.

All respondents

  • Donor-advised funds
  • Discretionary funds
  • All other funds
Size of foundation Donor-advised funds Discretionary funds All other funds
$0-$25M 10% 25% 64%
$25-$50M 17% 18% 64%
$50-$100M 27% 21% 52%
$100-$250M 24% 18% 58%
$250-$500M 36% 15% 49%
$500M+ 35% 13% 52%
All 22% 19% 58%

Distribution rates

As community foundation asset size as well as the proportion of those assets in non-endowed assets grows, so too do foundation-wide distribution rates. Additionally, donor-advised funds are seen as more active funding vehicles. It is important to specifically watch the growth of donor-advised and discretionary funds over time. DAFs are a widely-used donor vehicle and one of the fastest growing, while discretionary funds ultimately provide flexibility to a community foundation.

Size of foundation Donor-advised funds Whole foundation
<$25M 4% 4%
$25M - $50M 7% 5%
$50M - $100M 11% 6%
$100M - $250M 11% 7%
$250M - $500M 13% 9%
>$500M 13% 8%