The PtP Beat Goes On: Number of PtP Foundations and Amount of Assets Continues to Grow

By on February 17, 2020

PtP: 635 foundations, $200 billion in assets and counting
The PtP Project team is pleased pleased to let you know that the number of identified PtP foundations around the world has continued to expand, as has the amount of assets these foundations control.
During the past year, an additional 100 PtP foundations have come to light, representing $65 billion in assets and a nearly 20% jump in the identified number of foundations. Included here are:

    • The Renova Foundation in Brazil, a US$7 billion foundation that got its assets from a penalty arising from an environmental disaster;
    • The enormous US$25 billion “la Caixa” Foundation in Spain, created from the assets of a pre-existing cooperative savings bank that underwent a transformation into a for-profit company along with a network of similar Spanish savings banks in 2014;
    • The US$1.2 billion Lumina Foundation in the United States, established with the assets resulting from the conversion of a nonprofit student loan guarantee organization into a for-profit business in 2000;
    • The US$3.2 billion Mother Cabrini Health Foundation in the United States, established with the assets resulting from the sale of a nonprofit hospital by a for-profit hospital chain in 2018; and
    • The Voqal Foundation, which was the recipient of licenses for broadband spectrum made available free of cost for educational uses in the U.S. in 1964 which are now leased to commercial cell phone companies generating a regular stream of revenue.

For a full list of identified PtP Foundations to date, see our PtP Foundation Master List.
A new asset class
Not only the number of PtP foundations, but also the asset classes to which the PtP concept can be applied, have recently expanded. Most notable, as the Voqal Foundation example shows, is the addition of proceeds from the sale of broadband spectrum licenses, now increasingly in demand around the world with the growth of 5G transmission equipment and the increased demand for spectrum frequencies on which such equipment can best operate.
This brings to nine the asset classes to which the PtP concept has been, and still can be, applied:

    1. Sale of state-owned enterprises
    2. Transfer of other state property such as a building or cultural institution
    3. Royalties or concession payments from state-regulated industries (e.g. lotteries, mining, leases of ports, airports, bridges)
    4. Debt swaps
    5. Conversions of quasi-public institutions (nonprofits, cooperatives) into for-profit enterprises
    6. Recovery of stolen assets
    7. Penalties for corporate misdeeds (e.g., bribery, money laundering, environmental or health and safety violation)
    8. Dormant assets left in banks or insurance accounts
    9. Proceeds of broadband spectrum auctions

We fully expect the number of PtP foundations to swell further, moreover, as knowledge of the PtP concept expands, and as new PtP foundations form. If you become aware of any PtP foundations we may have missed, please let us know today!

Crossposted from

Chelsea Newhouse is the Communications Manager for the Center for Civil Society Studies and manages the Center's Nonprofit Economic Data and Philanthropication thru Privatization Projects and the Nonprofit Works Interactive Database. Prior to joining the Center in 2008, she worked for the Johns Hopkins University Department of Molecular Biology & Genetics, the Baltimore Sun, and as a community organizer for Clean Water Action and the Democratic National Committee. She holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Virginia. Chelsea can be reached at