SPECIAL REPORT
December 01, 2015

Endowments Show Strong Gains — and Provoke Controversy

Andy Snow
An endowment campaign is raising millions for the upkeep of the Schuster Performing Arts Center in Dayton, Ohio.
A survey and analysis by The Chronicle of the nation’s endowments shows strong growth in assets, which are being used to launch dramatic new projects and better prepare balance sheets for the future. The growth is being fueled not just by a booming stock market, but by aggressive fundraising efforts as well.

But not all is rosy with endowments. Experts warn of inflated expectations of stock market performance over the long haul. And Congress is growing increasingly uneasy with the swelling — and untaxed —endowments at many universities.

Meanwhile, many endowments are resisting heightened pressure to divest their holdings of “sin” investments like fossil fuels. And for all the talk of impact investing, most endowments remain wary that it will not produce strong enough returns to maintain their spending power.

Stories about these important trends are included in this special report, along with our interactive providing detailed data on hundreds of the nation’s endowments.

Article
December 01, 2015

Fundraising Helps Give Endowments a Strong Boost

Big charities aren’t the only ones bouncing back. The Chronicle’s survey of endowments shows that this is a great time for smaller groups as well.

Data
December 01, 2015

Explore Endowment Data

More than a decade of data tracks the growth and investment choices for nearly 300 endowments. 

Article
December 01, 2015

A Divestment Showdown

Many say divestment isn’t practical and wouldn’t make any difference in the fight to curb greenhouse-gas emissions.

Article
December 01, 2015

Foundations Are Cautious on Impact Investing

The idea is catching fire on Wall Street, but few grant makers are making it a priority.

Article
December 01, 2015

College Endowments Are Flourishing Again — and Critics Are Taking Note

Some in Congress want more money to go to scholarships and less to private-equity managers. But nonprofits worry that restrictions could have a spillover effect on other groups.

Article
December 01, 2015

Investment Returns: Time to Lower Expectations

The bull market of the past six years may have grant makers counting on 8 or 9 percent gains; longer-term trends suggest those expectations are unrealistic.

Article
December 01, 2015

Opinion: It’s Time to Tax Harvard

Large endowments that are never spent shouldn’t be allowed to accumulate, tax-free.

Article
December 01, 2015

How The Chronicle Compiled Its 2015 Report on Nonprofit Endowments

Find information on 298 nonprofit organizations, including how 233 of those endowments are invested across eight asset classes.