CF Insights Survey Results

Shared knowledge for community foundations

Assets, gifts, and grants

The collective asset total for all FY21 survey respondents was 20 percent higher than in FY20. Several respondents who participated in the survey both years experienced significant increases in year-over-year fundraising totals while seeing strong investment market returns.

Total assets

Median change in assets: 19.0%

Total reported gifts & grants

Total reported assets, gifts, & grants over time

Longitudinal tracking of growth in assets, gifts, and grants is done using a consistent sample of the largest 100 community foundations by asset size, who together hold over 90 percent of the dollars in the field. This group's collective asset total grew by nearly 25 percent over FY20. Fundraising growth accelerated considerably, increasing by 54 percent, with grantmaking also increasing by nearly 10 percent.

Data reflects the largest 100 community foundations by asset size as of FY21 and includes those within the cohort whose data are available for all 10 years represented. (n=95)

Year Assets Gifts Grants
2012 $48,272,236,126 $5,901,969,187 $3,842,494,670
2013 $56,390,622,814 $6,515,294,772 $4,134,134,300
2014 $62,424,983,249 $7,563,250,820 $5,124,690,682
2015 $64,194,600,865 $6,856,559,459 $5,761,493,054
2016 $67,730,755,052 $7,874,417,864 $6,621,196,902
2017 $76,362,224,982 $8,696,191,379 $7,637,677,129
2018 $77,324,705,745 $9,281,600,963 $8,281,534,352
2019 $86,136,964,513 $8,667,235,867 $7,827,496,873
2020 $95,384,122,305 $12,377,648,411 $10,800,748,896
2021 $119,591,384,380 $19,282,712,706 $12,051,381,165

Changes in gift and grant activity

In FY21, the median community foundation saw gift totals increase by over 14 percent, and over a quarter of survey respondents reported that their fundraising totals increased by more than half over the previous year. High levels of fundraising and grantmaking activity across the field continued through the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, an ongoing crisis during which community foundations were among the most active philanthropic entities.

Median change in gifts: 16%

Type of activity Dramatic decrease Moderate decrease Neutral Moderate increase Dramatic increase Median change
Gifts 10% 23% 14% 24% 29% 16%
Grants 1% 26% 33% 28% 12% 3%

Median change in grants: 3%

Median gifts and grants per capita

With community foundations continuing to serve as highly active players during the pandemic's second year, nearly every asset size cohort saw increases in these metrics for the second consecutive year. Medians across the field tend to scale up along with asset size, with larger community foundations achieving an economy of scale. (n=193)

What's the idea behind the survey?

CF Insights responds to a hunger for shared knowledge among community foundations. Learn more about how this survey helps us do that.

About the survey


Connect with Council Staff

David Rosado

Senior Advisor, Community Philanthropy