Endowments & Foundations

October 2019

As a growing number of private foundations adopt a social justice agenda, their higher education grants reflect broad societal concerns.

April 2019

U.S. colleges and universities hold more than $500 billion in endowment assets, but many people have a poor grasp of these assets’ purpose and value.

March 2019

In an era of declining public funding, private philanthropy has played an increasingly vital role for both public and private institutions.

June 2017

The story of a generation drowning in debt is misleading for a number of reasons. This report looks at the landscape of student debt in the U.S. as well as trends and innovative approaches in private funding of higher education.

June 2017

Over the past decade, foundations and other entities awarding higher education grants have shifted their focus toward programs that encourage student retention and graduation, particularly for low-income and first-generation college students.

March 2017

Can a university’s characteristics be a better indicator of an endowment’s effectiveness than endowment size? 

December 2012

In the aftermath of the 2008-09 recession, many individuals are worried about their short-term and long-run  financial security. In the nonprofit and philanthropic sector (hereafter referred to as “the sector”), there is speculation that such concerns among its workers are undermining the sector’s ability to attract and retain the new talent required to be successful, while simultaneously preventing senior leaders and older employees from retiring.

June 2011

This paper summarizes a survey of university endowment funds, with a particular focus on the composition of endowment investment committees and how this composition is associated with a number of key activities. In general, we find that the typical investment committee member has financial credentials of some form and has experience as an executive or serving on other boards. We also find that most investment committee members are themselves donors to the university.

September 2009

In 2007, Davidson College became the first private liberal arts college to offer its students a financial aid package that meets 100% of their demonstrated need without any loan component. The Davidson Trust has increased the access to Davidson College of students from lower and middle-income families, contributing to a more economically diverse student body. Pre-Davidson Trust, need-based financial aid was accorded to approximately 33% of Davidson students; post-Davidson Trust, an average of 45% of entering students is qualifying for need-based aid.