An initial analysis of 2013 IRS Form 990-PFs for the nation's largest private foundations shows they have almost fully recovered from the Great Recession. In 2007, the 20 foundations that were analyzed had $80.2 billion in assets; in 2013, the figure was $78.8 billion. The average change in total investment assets over the six-year period was -2.9%.
Aggregate allocations did shift significantly during the period. Foundations reduced allocations to listed equities and fixed-income securities. In 2007, the aggregate allocations to equities and fixed income were 38.4% and 8.5%, respectively. In 2013, the aggregate allocations had dropped to 22.4% and 7.3% respectively.
Aggregate allocations to other investments, typically alternative investments, went to 70.2% from 53.1% during the six years.
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is a good example of what was seen with the universe. Total investment assets declined 0.3% to $5.887 billion. Corporate stock and fixed-income securities fell 49.1% and 37.4% to $1.279 billion and $436 million, respectively. Limited partnership investments increased 54.7%, to $4.172 billion