Foundations as investment managers part 1: The process

Lester M. Salamon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Foundations in the United States manage more than $130 billion in investment resources. In managing these assets, foundations must balance the competing goals of promoting charitable good deeds through the distribution of grants and stewarding the assets that can support such grants in the future. This paper examines how foundations perform the function of managing their financial assets and whether they follow modern practices of portfolio management in doing so. The data presented here provide reason to suspect that many foundations are giving insufficient attention to preserving and enhancing the available philanthropic resources under their control. Analysis of actual investment performance is the subject of a sequel article in the next issue of Nonprofit Management and Leadership.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-137
Number of pages21
JournalNonprofit Management and Leadership
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management


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