Survey: Foundations regaining lost ground
A large Downtown-based private foundation nearly doubled its investment return in 2012 from the year before, but fell short of the average gains of 140 foundations in a survey released on Thursday.
The survey by the Council on Foundations and Commonfund Institute found the nonprofits' endowments enjoyed double-digit increases, compared to a loss in 2011. It did not make public the names of the foundations.
The Grable Foundation confirmed it posted a net return of 9.1 percent, compared to 4.6 percent in 2011. Grable officials did not elaborate. The foundation had nearly $270 million in assets as of Aug. 31.
The endowments of the foundations surveyed posted an average return of 12 percent in 2012 after fees were deducted. In 2011, the foundations lost an average of 0.7 percent.
The increases are important because they allow foundations to boost how much they give to nonprofit groups. Forty-seven percent of the foundations in the survey reported that last year they were able to increase the money they spend on their mission.
“We are encouraged to see growth in mission-related investing, and even more encouraged that giving is increasing even though the economic recovery has remained (uneven),” said Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Washington-based Council on Foundations, in a prepared statement.
The McCune Foundation, Downtown, declined to disclose its investment return, but Executive Director Henry Beukema said its endowment was worth $349 million as of Sept. 25. A year ago, he said, it was worth $345 million.
He said the difference cannot be used to figure the rate of return because the foundation gave away $21 million last year, including some of the principal of its endowment. It's part of a plan to spend away the assets of the foundation and go out of business during the next 16 years, according to the will of its benefactor, the late Charles L. McCune.
Unlike most foundations, McCune has a trustee, PNC, which invests its money. Most foundations have a board committee that hires a financial firm to invest its money.
Officials at the Heinz Endowments, Richard King Mellon, Buhl, Benedum and Eden Hall foundations did not respond to requests for an interview.
Bill Zlatos is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7828 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- New interim director to take over VA regional office in Pittsburgh
- Strip District, Shadyside startups headed to White House
- Broken water main causes sinkhole that swallows truck in Overbrook
- 2 quit race for Plum school board
- Newsmaker: Maria Kalevitch
- Pittsburgh police seek dark blue BMW that hit cyclist in East Liberty
- Pittsburgh airport improvements noted as CEO tries to expand activity
- 1 injured in backhoe accident in Polish Hill
- Developers share their vision for Garden Theater block on North Side
- Leetsdale council accepts resignation of police chief
- Philadelphia firm to defend Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority in lawsuit