About the Author

Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA

Director of Endowments & Foundations Practice

Walter specializes in working with endowments, foundations, and nonprofit organizations to help them grow, evolve, and weather changing financial and economic environments. He works closely with his clients on their investment, philanthropic, endowment management, and planned giving objectives. As director of the Endowments & Foundations Practice for the Wealth markets, Walter is responsible for working with market leaders and wealth advisors in each region to lead the growth of this important business and to create a coordinated and consistent approach to working with our clients.

With more than three decades of experience in the financial services industry, much of which focused on nonprofit and institutional clients, Walter has a unique perspective on the changing needs of the endowment and foundation marketplace. He has authored original research that has been covered by the financial press on a number of nonprofit sectors, including health care organizations, community colleges, public libraries, private schools, and religious organizations. Please visit our Research & Insights library to read Walter’s research papers.

Walter is a recipient of Wilmington Trust’s Chairman’s Club award and he launched the firm’s highly successful Philanthropic Speaker Series in 2011, which showcases strategies for nonprofit organizations. He is also regularly called upon to speak at industry conferences and with key advisors in the philanthropic arena. Walter holds an MBA from Babson College, a master’s degree in philanthropy from New York University, and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bates College. He is a CFA® charterholder and a member of the CFA Institute. He is also a member of the New York Society of Securities Analysts, the Philanthropic Planning Group of Greater New York, and the Healthcare Finance Management Association.

Passionate about philanthropy and perpetuating the ability of nonprofits to impact their communities, Walter is a trustee and treasurer of Fisher College (Boston) and serves on the Forest Hills Gardens Corp. Finance Committee. He is also an adjunct professor at NYU where he teaches endowment concepts and practices.

Walter and his family enjoy hiking, traveling throughout New England and internationally, and experiencing music and the arts. An avid runner, Walter has completed two marathons and can be found in his garage refinishing furniture in his spare time.


By the Author

Catholic Foundations in the U.S. Revisited

Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA |
Corporate & Institutional
Interior of St. Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic

This updated research report from our last report in 2019 shows that Catholic foundations continue to be a fast-growing sector in philanthropy in the United States. We believe the most successful foundations will continually adapt and refine their strategic growth plans for the future, which will look at both investment performance and fundraising.

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Endowments & Foundations Update: Key 2022 Trends

Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA |
Corporate & Institutional

 This update summarizes key trends we’re tracking as we continue to focus on the endowment, foundation, and nonprofit marketplace. The Wilmington Trust Endowments and Foundations team categorized them into investment and fundraising trends, since these are the two key ways to grow endowment funds. With the pandemic essentially behind us, many nonprofits are now assessing their endowment strategies, fundraising goals, and strategic plans in light of recent geopolitical turmoil.

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Community College Foundations Revisited

Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA |
Corporate & Institutional
Community College NC.jpg

This research report, which was conducted in June 2020, illustrates the importance of building a strategic endowment plan for a community college.In this report, we begin with an overview of the community college sector, as well as a discussion of industry trends. We examine fundraising and endowment management strategies, which are becoming more important to these institutions in the current environment.

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Catholic Foundations Continue to Advance in the United States

Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA |
Corporate & Institutional
11167-RelBasedFundraising-NC.jpg

In 2016, we released one of the first studies on religious-based fundraising foundations, The Advancement of Religious-Based Fundraising Foundations in the United States. We examined religious giving and focused on the use of stand-alone fundraising foundations, focusing on Catholic diocese or community foundations. This updated research report shows that Catholic foundations have become a national trend and continue to advance at a fast pace in the United States.

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Fundraising and Endowment Strategies for Independent Schools in New York

Walter J. Dillingham Jr., CFA |
Corporate & Institutional
Independent-NY-Schools-NC.jpg

This research report conducted in 2013 provides an analysis of fundraising, endowment management, and governance/disclosure practices of independent school foundations in New York State.There are three trends affecting independent schools nationally today: enrollments are flat and declining; there is great pressure to expand programs and facilities; and tuition costs continue to rise, impacting affordability for many families.

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