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How Did Market Conditions Affect Private Foundation Giving in 2022?

Foundation Source client survey reveals that donors took a long-term mindset.

A recent client survey conducted by Foundation Source between Dec. 20, 2022, and Jan. 11, 2023, provides some insight into how economic market conditions in 2022 affected donors’ level of giving through private foundations. Based on the 215 responses received, the survey showed that the majority (74%) indicated no change in their PF’s grant-making activities. Furthermore, when looking ahead to 2023, most respondents said they plan on keeping their charitable giving similar to 2022 or increasing it slightly.

Types of Changes

While the majority of donors maintained the status quo in 2022, of those who made changes to their PF’s activities, most expanded their generosity by increasing the size and number of grants. Eighty-three percent of respondents didn’t change the asset allocation of their PF’s endowment. Those who did make changes added equities (29%) or liquidity (32%), with 40% noting the changes were due to the economic environment.

“The results we are seeing from our 2022 Client Survey demonstrate that the generosity of donors persists even in the face of a challenging market environment,” said Gillian Howell, head of client advisory solutions at Foundation Source. “But in our view, we’re also seeing the discipline that underpins the charitable giving strategies of many foundations. Rather than reacting to short-term dynamics, they are building long-term partnerships and deep-rooted philanthropic legacies.”

Looking Ahead

Looking ahead to 2023, most respondents plan to maintain (58%) or slightly expand (20%) their giving levels. Only 11% said they would scale back grant-making slightly, and only 1% said they would scale back grant-making significantly. Forty-two percent of respondents said they plan to add to their endowment in 2023, with 61% of that group saying it will be a planned addition and 18% saying it will be because of a liquidity event.

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