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

New York, NY -- February 8, 2012. America's family foundations contributed more than $20 billion in 2010 to organizations and people working for the public good, but total giving did not reach its pre-recession peak of $21 billion in 2008. According to the Foundation Center's latest edition of Key Facts on Family Foundations, the 1.1 percent increase in family foundation giving between 2009 and 2010 marks a reversal of the previous year's 3.4 percent decline.

Among other key findings in the report:

  • Family foundations account for the majority of giving by independent foundations overall (63 percent in 2010).
  • One-third of all family foundations were established in the 2000s.
  • Education is the top funding priority of family foundations located in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, while health accounts for the biggest share among Western family foundations, largely due to the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key Facts on Family Foundations identifies 38,671 independent foundations with measurable donor or donor-family involvement. The fact sheet examines giving by issue area, type of support, population group served, and geographic location. It also details differences in the size of the boards of family foundations.

Key Facts on Family Foundations can be downloaded at no charge from the Gain Knowledge area of the Foundation Center's web site.

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, 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 more than 450 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.