Foundation Operations and Management Report

Use this report as a guide when making operational decisions at your foundation with benchmarking data on boards and governance, grantmaking, investments, staff compensation, and more.

Based on our annual Operations and Management Survey of foundation members, this unique benchmarking tool gives powerful insight into the grantmaking and operations of small-staffed foundations in the United States. What grantmaking strategies are lean funders using? How are foundations managing their investments? How much are foundations paying for their operations and their staff salaries? Use the information and data in this report to understand where your foundation fits in with industry peers.

Product Information

Exponent Philanthropy 

Number of Pages

Member Price
Nonmember Price
Electronic Download
Member Price
Nonmember Price

What’s in the Report

Racial Equity
Staff, Compensation, Benefits

This section provides information on:

  • Staff composition, including staff size and roles and staff demographic
  • Family participation in staff
  • CEO succession plans
  • Staff compensation
  • The types of benefits foundations provided and the amount foundations spent on benefits
  • The types of consultants foundations used and the amount foundations spent on consultants
Boards and Governance 

This section provides information on:

  • Board composition
  • Board compensation
  • Board members provision of in-kind services
  • Board governance practices

This section provides information on:

  • The number of grants foundations made
  • How foundations are incorporating racial equity into their grantmaking
  • The types of grants they made
  • The types of grantmaking practices foundations are engaging in
  • The target populations and issue areas foundations are focusing on
  • The different advocacy strategies foundations are implementing or funding
  • How foundations are incorporating communications and transparency practices
  • How foundations are evaluating their work
  • How foundations are using donor advised funds to support their grantmaking

    This section provides information on:

    • Investment policy statement (IPS)
    • Investment returns
    • Investment strategy
    • Targeted returns
    • Investment portfolio allocations
    • Mission investing
    • The use of consultants
    Expanded Appendices

    This year’s report also contains expanded appendices with detailed information on:

    • Staff size and roles
    • Investment Management Fees and Expenses
    • Staff compensation and practices
    • Operating and Administrative Expenses

    (2021, 96 pages, PDF and Print)