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

by Brittany Kienker; Casey Veach; Jeff Williams

Mar 1, 2021

The Council of Michigan Foundations (CMF) commissioned four prior studies between 2000 and 2016 to evaluate the required private foundation payout rate as well as hypothetical model portfolios and actual investment returns.

In 2020, the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy (Johnson Center), in collaboration with Plante Moran Financial Advisors (PMFA), updated and expanded this research by using a comprehensive database of IRS Form 990-PF (private foundation) returns, adding international investments to the model portfolios, presenting actual payout rates of all private foundations in the data set, and showing projections of how changes to the payout rate may affect future foundation assets.