Research

The Council on Foundations conducts and partners on national research focused on foundation management, grantmaker compensation, governance, and investment performance and practices. Use our research tools and publications to benchmark your policies and practices against peers in the field and better understand trends affecting grantmaker operations.

In addition to the publications listed below, we produce customized reports with data from our annual Grantmakers Salary and Benefits Report and from our 2010 Foundation Management Series.

In-Depth knowledge on Research

The 2014 Salary Tables provide aggregate information on staff salaries among U.S. foundations and corporate giving programs. The tables compile data on nearly 9,500 full-time employees from across the country, and include information by type of foundation and region. Mean, median, range, 25th, and 75th percentiles are provided.

At a time when donor advised funds are growing in popularity and awarding many grants that support community programs, this research is designed to understand current practices, identify the extent of exemplary practices, and inform the community foundation field on their collective individual and collective use of this giving tool.

What growth trends did the community foundation field experience in FY 2012? "Guideposts Point to New Heights" is an analysis of 2012 data gathered through the Columbus Survey. The report is a resource to understand the performance of your individual organization in the context of the field. Trends in assets, gifts, and grants are the focal point of the analysis.

The Council on Foundations’ Foundation Management Series provides foundation boards and staff with the tools needed to benchmark their practices and operations against peers in the field. Containing data from the Council’s 2009 Foundation Management survey, the series consists of three reports: Board Composition and Compensation, Administrative and Investment Expenses, and Fiscal Oversight.

The Council on Foundations, in conjunction with the Community Foundations Leadership Team, conducted a web-based survey of community foundations in late June through August 2008. The survey aimed to obtain comprehensive information on: the amount of assets held in donor advised funds; the range of sizes of individual donor advised funds; the amount spent from these funds; and the areas these funds supported in 2007. This report presents a detailed look at the donor advised funds held in 2007 by 137 community foundations that answered the survey. Together, the responding organizations hold half of all community foundation assets.