Foundation Funding Grew for Most Major Fields, Foundation Center Report Finds
New York, NY (February 5, 2009) — Foundation support for eight of the 10 major subject areas rose in 2007, despite the first signs of an economic downturn in the latter half of the year, according to Foundation Giving Trends (2009 Edition), released today by the Foundation Center. The environment and animals field posted the fastest rise in funding, up 28.5 percent from the prior year — more than double the 13.2 percent rise in overall grant dollars.
"We expect that the commitment of foundations to their missions and grantees will remain strong throughout the current economic crisis, though the size of their grants budgets will in many cases be affected," said Steven Lawrence, senior director of research and the report's principal author.
Among other key findings in the report:
* Foundations awarded a record 188 grants of $10 million or more in 2007. Of the 10 largest, eight were made by the Gates Foundation, mainly for health-related activities and international development.
* International giving — which cuts across all areas and includes grants awarded directly to overseas recipients and to U.S.-based international programs — reached a record 23.4 percent of total grant dollars awarded.
* Among specific populations, the economically disadvantaged benefited from the largest share of grant dollars, rising to a record $5.3 billion.
Foundation Giving Trends (2009 Edition) provides a comprehensive analysis of all of the grants of $10,000 or more awarded by over 1,300 of the largest private and community foundations in the United States in 2007 and tracks changes in funding trends since 1997. Grant dollars awarded by these funders totaled $21.6 billion and represented roughly half of overall giving by U.S. foundations. The report examines giving by subject focus, recipient type, type of support, population group served, and geographic focus. It also details differences in funding trends by foundation size, region, and type. Foundation Giving Trends is part of the Foundations Today Series of annual research reports on foundation growth and trends in foundation giving.