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Nonprofit charities and foundations hold endowments and other investments. How do their investments perform? Some high-profile nonprofit endowments, importantly those of colleges and universities, have been studied before. This is the first paper, to the authors' knowledge, that looks at a large number of many different types of nonprofits. They use a large panel data set culled from the forms nonprofits must file with the IRS to investigate the determinants of investment performance. To understand why some organizations do well and others much less so, they regress the rate of return for each organization on various characteristics. Larger nonprofits, older nonprofits, and private foundations tend to earn higher returns.
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