The Soapbox and Toolbox for New York State's Nonprofits

April 27, 2017

Study on Nonprofit Investing Released


The 2016 SONI revealed nonprofits have generally underperformed market benchmarks, but there is a silver lining: certain organizations have benefited by keeping things simple and establishing policies to instill discipline. This year’s results indicate that nonprofits with lower investment fees, those that limited investments to traditional asset classes, and organizations that manage investments to specific asset allocation targets generally fared better.

Participation in SONI increased substantially in 2016. More than 700 nonprofits participated (participants get free access to the full reports).

Three distinct SONI reports have been developed: SONI Associations, SONI Public Charities and SONI Foundations. The SONI reports provide peer benchmarks that enable nonprofits to make more informed decisions about their investments. SONI answers questions like:

  • How do nonprofits segment total cash assets among short and longer term objectives?
  • How much investment risk do nonprofits take with longer term investments?
  • How much do nonprofits pay for investment services?
  • How much are nonprofits earning from their investments – and what should they expect?
  • How can I strengthen my investment policy to most effectively guide decision making?

This preview offers some key findings from the SONI Associations and SONI Public Charities reports.


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NYCON develops and promotes an effective and vibrant charitable nonprofit community throughout New York State.  We strengthen organizational capacity, act as an advocate and unifying voice, help to inform philanthropic giving, and conduct research and planning to demonstrate relevance and impact.