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Foundation Giving Held Steady in 2010

/ Source: GlobeNewswire

NEW YORK, April 7, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The country's more than 76,000 grantmaking foundations gave an estimated $45.7 billion in 2010, virtually unchanged from 2009. According to Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (2011 Edition), released today by the Foundation Center, 2010 giving remained just 2.1 percent below the record high of $46.8 billion awarded by foundations in 2008, despite the fact that foundation assets were still close to 10 percent below their 2007 peak.

More than 45 percent of respondents to the Foundation Center's annual "Foundation Giving Forecast Survey" indicated that they had reduced their funding in 2010, but the actions of other grantmakers buoyed the field. "Foundations provided stability for nonprofits during a time of crisis," said Bradford K. Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "Many made extraordinary efforts to maintain their giving levels, while other, often newer foundations even increased their giving."

Other key estimates for 2010 include:

  • Independent and family foundations — which represent the vast majority of U.S. foundations — reduced their giving by less than 1 percent to $32.5 billion in 2010.
  • Corporate foundation giving remained basically unchanged at $4.7 billion in 2010.
  • Community foundation giving dipped 2.1 percent to $4.1 billion in 2010, the first consecutive-year decline on record.

Survey findings suggest that 2011 foundation giving will grow between 2 and 4 percent, which could propel it past the 2008 record level. Grantmakers also appear optimistic about 2012. Assuming no unexpected economic strife, foundation giving should realize another modest year-over-year gain.

"Over half of foundations we surveyed expect to increase their giving this year," said Steven Lawrence, director of research at the Foundation Center and principal author of the report. "These additional dollars will help to seed the many promising endeavors put on hold during the depths of the economic crisis."

About the Foundation Giving Survey

Giving projections for 2010 through 2012 reported in Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates are based on responses to the Foundation Center's 2011 "Foundation Giving Forecast Survey" from 1,141 large and mid-size foundations across the country, combined with year-end economic indicators. Final giving figures for 2010 will be available in early 2012.

The report also presents findings based on actual 2009 giving and assets tracked by the Foundation Center for the more than 76,000 independent, corporate, community, and grantmaking operating foundations in the United States.

Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (PDF), part of the annual Foundations Today Series on foundation growth and giving, can be accessed at no charge at the Gain Knowledge area of the Foundation Center's web site.

About the Foundation and Corporate Response to the Economic Crisis

The Foundation Center maintains a Focus on the Economic Crisis area of its web site that links to numerous resources to help grantmakers, nonprofits, and the general public understand the impact of the recent economic downturn on institutional philanthropy. Resources include interactive maps, Foundation Center research advisories, interviews with foundation and nonprofit leaders and other organizations, and much more. Visit to access these resources.

Cheryl Loe
Communications Project Manager
The Foundation Center
(888) 356-0354 ext. 701

About the Foundation Center

Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 550 foundations, the Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and beyond. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

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