Research

The Council on Foundations conducts national research with partners on grantmaker board and staff composition and compensation, diversity and inclusion, and investment performance and practices for the benefit of the philanthropic field. The following research publications will help grantmaking organizations benchmark policies and practices against peers in the field, as well as insights into the operational and investment practices of the U.S. foundation and corporate giving program landscape.

In-Depth knowledge on Research

For 40 years the Council has provided the most comprehensive analysis of salary and benefits for full-time staff at U.S. foundations through the Grantmaker Salary and Benefits (GSB) Report. This year the GSB Key Findings looks back on 5 years of demographic data and reveals that we have miles (and miles) to go to advance the field’s commitment to diversity.

The Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Report (GSB) provides salary, benefits, and diversity data for full-time staff at U.S. foundations to aid in budget planning and personnel practice benchmarking. Information is presented by grantmaker type, foundation type, asset size, and geographic location.

The 2019 Board Compensation Tables provide foundation board and staff with the tools they need to benchmark their board compensation policies and practices against peers in the field. This report contains data collected through the Council's 2019 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey and presented by foundation type, asset group, and U.S. Census region.

The 2016 Administrative and Program Expense Tables provide foundations with tools to benchmark their expenses – charitable administrative, program service, and qualifying distributions – against peers in the field. Containing data collected through the Council’s 2016 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey, this report offers detailed breakdowns of the data by grantmaker type, staff size, geographic location, and asset group (note – this report does not examine fees associated with fund administration at community foundations).

The 2016 Board Compensation Tables provide foundation board and staff with the tools they need to benchmark their board compensation policies and practices against peers in the field. This report contains data collected through the Council’s 2016 Grantmaker Salary and Benefits Survey and presented by foundation type, asset group, and U.S. Census region.