News and analysis
May 31, 2017

How The Chronicle Compiled Its 2017 Report on Nonprofit Endowments

The Chronicle’s 2017 report on endowments contains three sets of data.

For the latest endowment values and investment allocations, The Chronicle sent surveys to 519 of the largest nonprofits in the country and drew fair-market-value endowment figures for colleges from the Nacubo-Commonfund study of endowments. In all, year-end, fair-market endowment figures for 2016 are available for 397 organizations, with 137 including asset allocations.

Longitudinal data for nearly 5,000 charitable organizations and 2,700 private foundations was drawn from Forms 990 and 990-PF, electronically filed with the Internal Revenue Service from 2013 to 2016. Our database includes nonprofits with at least $10 million in endowment funds and private foundations with at least $10 million in assets.

Some organizations filed erroneous data with the IRS. When possible, we have corrected those figures after contacting the organizations. Some charities make accounting adjustments to their endowment balances at the end of their fiscal years, which can lead to inconsistencies between end-of-year and beginning-of-year values.

Read our latest reporting on endowments. 

If you have comments or questions about the data, send an email to

Send an e-mail to Peter Olsen-Phillips.