US, Canadian institutions' endowment returns fall flat

February 1, 2013

The 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments, which examines data from more than 800 PSE institutions in North America (including 19 Canadian universities), observes that endowments for the 2012 fiscal year were essentially flat, returning an average of -0.3% -- a steep decline from the 2011 fiscal year average return of 19.2%. Over the longer term, 10-year returns for fiscal 2012 were 6.2% compared to 5.6% in fiscal 2011, suggesting that long-term performance for many institutions continues to ameliorate. Each of the 19 Canadian universities in the study saw declines in endowment market value between fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2012. The one-year change reflects the net impact of withdrawals to fund institutional operations and capital expenses, the payment of endowment management and investment fees, additions from donor gifts and other contributions, and investment gains or losses. NACUBO News Release | The Chronicle of Higher Education (free access) | Endowment Market Value Table