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Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates, 2011 Edition

April 15, 2011

A new report from our Research Department colleagues here at the center finds that, despite the uneven economic recovery, giving by U.S. foundations held steady in 2010.

According to the report, Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (16 pages, PDF), the nation's more than 76,000 foundations gave a total of $45.7 billion in 2010, almost matching the $45.8 billion they gave in 2009. This followed a record 2.1 percent year-over-year decline in foundation giving from 2008 to 2009. The report also found that foundation assets increased 5 percent, to $612.7 billion, from $590.2 billion in 2009.

Fgge10_giving_bar 

 

Here are the giving numbers, broken out by foundation type:

Foundation TypeEst. 2010 Giving (billions)Est. Change, %
All $45.7 -0.2%
Independent $32.5 -0.8%
Corporate $4.7 0.2%
Community $4.1 -2.1%

 

The inflation-adjusted figures always tell an interesting story, as the chart below shows:

 Fgge10_giving_line

 

As for 2011, the center's latest "Giving Forecast Survey" found that giving by the nation's independent foundations should increase by between 2 percent and 4 percent, with seven out of ten respondents saying they expect to either boost their giving (52 percent) or keep it about the same (17 percent) and three out of ten (30 percent) saying they expect their giving to decline.

 

Fgge10_giving_forecast11 

 

Looking ahead to 2012, grantmakers appear to be fairly optimistic, with just 6.5 percent of respondents anticipating lower levels of giving next year, 50.6 percent anticipating that their giving will remain steady, and 27.2 percent saying they expect to increase their giving; the remaining 16 percent are uncertain at this point.

To download a copy of this year's Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates report, which includes more great charts and detail, click here.

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