A Closer Look at Foundation Administrative Expenses

Publication date: 
November, 2007
The Giving Forum of Regional Associations
Council on Foundations


Amid the growing public scrutiny of philanthropy in recent years, legislators, the media and the general public are taking a closer look at foundations’ administrative expenses.  This article offers guidance to help foundations manage, benchmark and report their administrative expenses in ways that can effectively demonstrate and ensure they are spending their dollars wisely to fulfill the public trust.
This article provides some basic guidance to help foundations understand, analyze, manage, benchmark and report their administrative expenses.  The article has been vetted by content experts to ensure its accuracy.
The article is written primarily for boards and staffs of private foundations (independent, family and corporate foundations) and community/public foundations, particularly foundation managers, board members, financial management staff and consultants who have responsibility for a foundation’s financial management and reporting.