Foundation Operations and Management Report | Exponent Philanthropy

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, and highlights how Exponent Philanthropy’s community of lean funders practices their philanthropy. This report covers a wide range of topics including:

  • How are lean funders incorporating racial equity into their work?
  • Does a foundation’s board and staff demographics correlate with different grantmaking or governance practices?
  • 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 and use the data to get inspired for how your foundation can continue to evolve.

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 and structure 
  • 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 participation and engagement 

This section provides information on:

  • COVID-19 and Grantmaking
  • The number of grants foundations made
  • How foundations are incorporating racial equity into their grantmaking
  • Grantmaking Practices
  • The types of grantmaking practices foundations are engaging in
  • The target populations and issue areas foundations are focusing on
  • 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
    Expanded Appendices

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

    • Staff size and roles
    • Staff compensation and practices
    • Additional Data on Boards and Governance 
    • Operating and Administrative Expenses

    (2022, 111 pages, PDF and Print)