The SEI Nonprofit Management Research Panel completed a comprehensive survey of executives and investment committee members from nonprofits in North America to dive into recent challenges including how nonprofits are addressing COIVD-19 and how they are incorporating diversity into their organization and investments.


Governance and investment oversight

Over half of nonprofits believe that their board could improve its efforts to cultivate diversity amongst its members

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ESG and sustainable investing

30% of the nonprofits surveyed plan to incorporate or eliminate managers based on social/ESG values.

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Despite the continuation of challenges going into 2021, nearly 58% of respondents anticipate zero change to their fundraising goal.

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Asset allocation strategy

Nonprofits are building their current portfolio to drive expected investment returns. Return objectives for nonprofits surveyed ranged from as low as 2% to as high as 10%.

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Spending policy

64% of nonprofits today have a moving average spending methodology. Only 10% have a hybrid, which is down by 6% from our 2016 survey. 11% have a banded inflation, up from 5% in 2016.

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The survey was completed by 102 participants representing nonprofits with endowments ranging in size from $25 million to more than $5 billion. None of the respondents are current clients of SEI. The poll was conducted in January 2021 and is in a series of 5 chapters.

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This information is provided by SEI Investments Management Corporation (SIMC), a registered investment adviser and wholly owned subsidiary of SEI Investments Company (SEI). Investing involves risk including possible loss of principal. There can be no assurance that your investment objectives will be achieved nor that risk can be managed successfully. International investments may involve risk of capital loss from unfavorable fluctuation in currency values, from differences in generally accepted accounting principles or from economic or political instability in other nations. Emerging markets involve heightened risks related to the same factors as well as increased volatility and lower trading volume. Bonds and bond funds will decrease in value as interest rates rise. High yield bonds involve greater risks of default or downgrade and are more volatile than investment grade securities, due to the speculative nature of their investments.

This material represents an assessment of the market environment at a specific point in time and is not intended to be a forecast of future events, or a guarantee of future results. This information should not be relied upon by the reader as research or investment advice. This information is for educational purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal opinion or advice.