An Evaluation of Private Foundation Model Portfolios, Investment Returns, and Payout Rates

Publication date: 
December, 2020

As a leadership organization that puts equity at the center and is committed to creating space for reflective conversation, CMF continues to ask the question: Have the market forces and growth in philanthropy—and for CMF, growth in Michigan philanthropy specifically—changed enough to warrant an increase in the 5% rule for private foundations? 

In 2020 CMF partnered with the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Plante Moran Financial Advisors to deepen and expand past research exploring the 5% payout rate to help answer this question, building on the learnings of previous studies we’ve commissioned over the past 20 years. 

An Evaluation of Private Foundation Model Portfolios, Investment Returns, & Payout Rates captures what we believe is the most comprehensive snapshot of payout data available to foundations to date. We value this research as a tool for private foundations in Michigan and across the sector. 

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