Maggie Morth
Communications Manager
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2415

Steven Lawrence
Senior Director of Research
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2410

New York, NY -- April 3, 2007. Giving by the nation's 71,000 grantmaking foundations rose to $40.7 billion in 2006, according to Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates: Current Outlook (2007 Edition), released today by the Foundation Center. This estimated 11.7 percent gain followed a 14.3 percent increase in 2005. U.S. foundations last reported consecutive years of double-digit growth in giving during the period 1996 to 2001. Looking ahead, grantmakers appeared optimistic about continued funding increases in 2007.

Key estimates reported include:

  • Independent and family foundations -- which account for nearly nine out of ten foundations -- raised their giving by 10.3 percent in 2006, representing their first double-digit increase since 2001
  • Corporate foundation giving grew a more modest 6 percent in 2006, following a 16.5 percent jump in 2005
  • Community foundations reported the fastest growth in giving, with funding up 13.2 percent in 2006
  • Foundation assets grew by 10 to 12 percent in 2006
  • Nearly 60 percent of surveyed foundations expect their giving to increase in 2007, and overall funding will likely continue to grow at a double-digit pace

Principal factors driving growth in foundation giving in 2006 were strong gains in the stock market and a higher level of new foundation establishment than was seen in the early 2000s. Other factors contributing to higher levels of giving in recent years include elevated payout rates due to greater numbers of "pass-through" foundations and the establishment of operating foundations by pharmaceutical manufacturers. New analyses show that 12 pharmaceutical foundations established in the 1990s and early 2000s to distribute medications to patients with financial hardships accounted for close to 9 percent of 2005 foundation giving.

"The foundation community is both larger and more diverse than was true in the past, which makes its giving less predictable," said Sara Engelhardt, president of the Foundation Center. "Neither stock market performance, a single wealthy donor, nor one type of foundation alone drives current trends."

About the Foundation Giving Survey

Giving projections for 2006 and 2007 reported in Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates are based on responses to the Foundation Center's 2007 "Foundation Giving Forecast Survey" from more than 875 large and mid-size foundations across the country, combined with year-end economic indicators. Survey respondents also provided information on their changing grantmaking strategies and on their engagement in direct charitable activities. (The Foundation Center will release a separate report on foundations' direct charitable activities in May 2007.) The report also presents findings on actual 2005 giving and assets tracked by the Foundation Center for the more than 71,000 independent, corporate, community, and grantmaking operating foundations in the United States.

Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates is part of the annual Foundations Today Series on foundation growth and giving and can be accessed at no charge from the Gain Knowledge area of the Foundation Center's web site. The Center will release an in-depth examination of 2005 foundation trends in Foundation Yearbook: Facts and Figures on Private and Community Foundations in late June. "Highlights" of Foundation Giving Trends, 2007 edition, the Foundation Center's annual examination of funding trends of nearly 1,200 of the largest U.S. foundations (released in February), are also available. These reports are available separately or through subscription to the complete series ($95) and can be purchased at the Foundation Center's online Marketplace.

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, and today supported by more than 600 foundations, the Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants -- a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance philanthropy at every level. The Center's web site receives more than 46,000 visits each day, and thousands of people gain access to free resources in its five regional library/learning centers and its national network of more than 300 Cooperating Collections. For more information, please visit or call 212-620-4230.

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