All data used in rankings and calculations is provided by FoundationMark and FoundationIQ and reflects foundations with over $1 million in assets.
Overall Ranking by State
- Massachusetts foundations reported total assets of $27.8 billion, ranking 10th among states.
- Massachusetts foundations 5 year total asset growth of 5.7%, ranked 19th.
- The average 5 year annualized return of Massachusetts foundations for the period ended December 31, 2017 was 8.6%, 12th place.
- Since 2013 Massachusetts foundations assets have increased by $6.7 billion from $21.0 billion to $27.8 billion.
- Massachusetts’s growth rate (blue hashed line) of 5.7% was faster than the overall foundation universe growth rate (yellow hashed line) of 5.4%.
- Massachusetts foundations estimated median performance for the 1-yr, 3-yr, and 5-yr periods ended Dec 31, 2017 was 14.7%, 6.8%, and 8.6% respectively (3-yr and 5-yr are annualized).
- For the five year period, FoundationMark estimates Massachusetts foundations outperformed the overall U.S. foundation universe by 49 basis points per year.
Disclosed Investment Expenses
- Massachusetts foundations reported $180.0 million in disclosed investment expenses for the most recent year.
- Median disclosed investment expenses for Massachusetts foundations of 63 basis points were 2 basis points lower than the national median of 65 basis points.
As seen in the chart below, the distribution of investment expenses in Massachusetts was broadly similar to the rest of the US.
Basis Points (bps): Investment fees are usually quoted as a percentage of assets. For example an investment manager may charge a 0.75% fee to manage the money that you have with the firm. The term ‘basis point’ is an easier way to say small numbers by moving the decimal point two places to the right. so 0.75% = 75 basis points, for the simple reason it is easier to say out loud “seventy five basis points” than “zero point seven five percent”.
Foundations by Portfolio Strategy
FoundationMark Portfolio Strategies
- 40% of Massachusetts foundations were categorized as Capital Appreciation by FoundationMark, a little higher than the national average.
- 26% of Massachusetts foundations had a Balanced strategy, 4% higher than the national average.
- 22% of Massachusetts foundations were categorized as ‘Investments – Other’, 4% lower than the national average.
- 12% of Massachusetts foundations had a Capital Preservation strategy, a little lower than the national average.
Foundations by Asset Level
There are over 1,600 Massachusetts foundations with assets over $1 million.
- Massachusetts has 2 of the top 100 foundation by asset size in the US.
- Over 180 of Massachusetts foundations have assets of over $25 million.
Top 10 Foundations by Assets
- The Barr and Cummings Foundations are the largest in the state.
- Nearly all of the top 10 were in and around Boston.
Foundations by County and City
- Massachusetts foundations received $2.6 billion in incoming contributions in the most recent year, and $8.2 billion cumulatively over the past 5 years, seventh most of all states.
Grants, Gifts and Operating Expenses
- Massachusetts foundations paid $2.4 billion in grants, gifts, and operating expenses in the most recent year, and $9.9 billion cumulatively over the past 5 years, ninth largest in dollar terms.
- Giving growth averaged 8.9% per year, significantly ahead of the overall market and 8th fastest among all states over the period.
If you would like to learn more about the over 1,630 foundations in Massachusetts we track, or the other 40,000 foundations outside of Massachusetts that we follow, including performance and expense data, please visit our affiliated companies: