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

Josie Atienza
Assistant Director of Research
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-3673

New York, NY -- FEBRUARY 21, 2007. Foundation giving for most program areas grew in 2005, and funders increased the number of exceptionally large grants they awarded, according to Foundation Giving Trends: Update on Funding Priorities (2007 Edition), released today by the Foundation Center. Among major subject areas, international affairs and the environment experienced the fastest growth in funding. The share of grant dollars allocated to capital projects rose, following five consecutive years of decline.

Key findings in the report include:

  • Foundations awarded a record 308 grants of $5 million or more in 2005.
  • Grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations rose 6.1% in 2005, following an 8.1% gain in the prior year.
  • Grant dollars for international affairs, development, and peace jumped nearly 41% to a record $591.2 million in the latest year, boosted by tsunami-related giving and increased funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • For the first time, corporate foundations gave a larger share of their grant dollars than other types of grantmakers for international affairs, reflecting support provided in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.
  • The share of grant dollars to fund building construction, endowments, and other capital projects climbed to 18.5%, up from a record low of 16.8% in 2004.

"Foundations appeared to be more optimistic, as indicated by the record number of very large grants and the rebound in giving for capital projects," said Josie Atienza, assistant director of research at the Foundation Center and the report's principal author. "Foundations also provided substantial funding in response to the Indian Ocean tsunami and Gulf Coast hurricanes, while continuing to support their core grantmaking priorities."

Prepared by the Foundation Center, Foundation Giving Trends (2007 Edition) provides a comprehensive analysis of all grants of $10,000 or more awarded by 1,154 of the largest private and community foundations in the United States in 2005 and tracks changes in funding trends since 1996. Grant dollars awarded by these funders totaled $16.4 billion and represented roughly half of overall U.S. foundation giving. 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, and includes brief reports on giving in the aftermath of the Gulf Coast hurricanes and the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. Foundation Giving Trends is part of the Foundations Today Series of annual research reports on foundation growth and trends in foundation giving.

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. More than 37,000 people visit its web site each day, and thousands more are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of over 300 Cooperating Collections in every state and Puerto Rico. For more information, please visit or call 212-620-4230.

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