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GE Foundation to Shift More Grant Dollars to Basic Needs

December 18, 2008

Ge_foundation_logoEarlier today, the Wall Street Journal reported that the GE Foundation, the philanthropic arm of global conglomerate General Electric, is planning to shift more of its grant dollars to organizations and programs working to meet basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. The Fairfield, Connecticut-based foundation awarded roughly $100 million in grants in 2008, including $5 million for basic needs. According to the Journal, that number will jump to $20 million, a 300 percent increase, in 2009.

"With the credit crunch and recession in full swing, people are not necessarily worrying about putting their kids in college in 20 years but how they are going to pay rent next month," Bob Corcoran, president of the foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship at GE, told the Journal.

Interestingly, the word circulating on market/financial blogs today is that GE will be announcing job cuts after the first of the year. And just a few minutes ago, the company had its outlook rating lowered to negative from stable by Standard & Poor's. Let's hope the rumors are nothing more than that....

-- Mitch Nauffts

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Job cuts are never good for anyone.

Neither foundation intends to shift the focus of its giving because of the crisis. I've heard private and corporate foundations have fewer dollars to grant in the coming year.

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