John Seitz




CEO of Foundation Financial Research LLC

Contact InfluenceWatch with suggested edits or tips for additional profiles.

John Seitz, a former investment manager, is the founder and CEO of Foundation Financial Research LLC, a foundation-focused financial analytics firm with three divisions: FoundationMark, FoundationIQ, and FoundationAdvocate.


Prior to founding Foundation Financial Research, Seitz worked for various nonprofit organizations through an Outsourced Chief Investment Office and also in various roles in portfolio management and equity research. 1

Foundation Financial Research LLC

On February 5, 2015, John Seitz founded Foundation Financial Research as a limited liability company in Lewes, Delaware. 2 The firm offers financial analytics services primarily to foundation trustees and officers, focused on the investment performance of private foundations based on publicly available data filed with the IRS. The firm has three standalone divisions, each with their own website: FoundationIQ, FoundationAdvocate, and FoundationMark. 3


FoundationIQ offers clients information via proprietary search tools on roughly 40,000 private foundations with assets of more than $1 million, tracking metrics such as investment performance, asset allocation, holding data, and fees paid. Individuals and foundations can subscribe to FoundationIQ for free to access to a state-by-state overview of foundation investing and a newsletter; at the bronze level to get individual name and location search capabilities along with links to foundations’ tax filings; at the silver level to get multi-factor, interactive search capabilities, alternative asset screening, and full financial statements; and at the gold level to access foundations’ star ratings, a multi-year scatter plot search capability, peer group and expense disclosure information, and the ability to download searched data. 4 5 6 7


FoundationAdvocate offers clients newsletters, lists, and links to news and academic articles about private foundations, particularly about issues, details, and policies affecting their general investment performance. 8 9


FoundationMark publishes financial indices derived from publicly available investment data, notably, the GIV (Grantmaker Investment Value) Index, which annually tracks the investment performance of roughly 40,000 private foundations, taking into account disclosed investment expenses (management or trading fees), the composition of assets in a foundation’s portfolio, and the timing of cash flows such as investment dividends and donations. 10 Additionally, FoundationMark publishes the FoundationMark15,  a list of the 15 largest and well-known private foundations in the United States. For instance, the 2021 FoundationMark15 includes the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, and Bloomberg Family Foundation. Aside from the foundations’ annual rankings, FoundationMark also assigns each foundation one-to-five star ratings for their investment performances over the preceding one, three, and five years. 11

Additionally, FoundationMark offers free performance reports upon request to officers and trustees of private grantmakers, which feature analytics on a foundation’s relative financial performance as compared to all large foundations generally and within that foundation’s peer group (in terms of asset size and investment strategy). Elements of this report include a five-year summary of a foundation’s financial development (including grants and administrative expenses), an assessment of its particular performance versus their asset class, the grantmaker’s “FoundationMark star rating,” a review of the foundation’s disclosed investment expenses, and a short list of peer institutions in terms of size and investment strategy. 12 13


  1. “Leadership.” FoundationMark. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  2. “Foundation Financial Research LLC.” Delaware Department of State: Division of Corporations. February 5, 2014. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  3. Homepage. Foundation Financial Research LLC. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  4. “FoundationIQ Plans.” Foundation IQ. March 7, 2022.
  5. “Our Story.” FoundationAdvocate. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  6. “About.” FoundationIQ. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  7. Homepage. Foundation Financial Research LLC. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  8. “Our Story.” FoundationAdvocate. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  9. Homepage. Foundation Financial Research LLC. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  10. “FAQs.” FoundationMark. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  11. “FoundationMark15.” FoundationMark. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  12. “Selected Pages from Sample Report.” FoundationMark. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  13. “FoundationMark Performance Reports.” FoundationMark. Accessed March 7, 2022.
  See an error? Let us know!