Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The nonpartisan Urban Institute has published the results of a three-year-long study on foundation expenses and compensation. The report titled What Drives Foundation Expenses and Compensation?: Results of a Three-Year Study, presents the results of a systematic study of independent, corporate, and community foundations' expense and compensation patterns and the factors behind them. The study documents the varying characteristics of the 10,000 largest U.S. grantmaking foundations, and finds that these differences — including foundation type, size, and operating activities — are essential for understanding foundation finances. The study's abstract reads:
This brief presents key findings from the latest report on the Foundation Expenses and Compensation Project – the first large-scale, long-term, systematic study of independent, corporate, and community foundations' expenses and compensation patterns and the factors behind them. It documents how differences in type, size, and operating activities of foundations affect their finances and charitable administrative expenses.
According to the study, its
goals are to inform public policy debates and foundation practices by documenting administrative expenses reported by foundations for their grants and other charitable activities, examining compensation levels of their executive staff and board members, and assessing the factors that drive both types of expenditures. The focus is specifically on charitable administrative expenses, those expenses that relate exclusively to programs and count as qualifying distributions toward the 5 percent payout requirement for private foundations.