Skip directly to page content.
Foundation Center
Home Profile Search Site Map Ask Us
About Us Locations Newsletters Press Room PND
Knowledge to build on.  
Gain Knowledge

Research
- Foundation Stats
- Foundation Maps
- National Trends
- Regional Trends
- International Trends
- Special Topic Trends
- International Data Relations
- Philanthropy Classification System

Special Projects
- Advancing Human Rights
- BMAfunders
- Foundations for Education Excellence
- Foundation Funding for U.S. Democracy
- Nonprofit Collaboration
- Reporting Commitment
- Sustain Arts
- TRASI
- WASHfunders

Our Web Sites
- Glasspockets
- GrantCraft
- GrantSpace
- IssueLab
- Philanthropy News Digest

Other Resources
- Foundation Center Blogs
- Catalog of Nonprofit Literature
- Links to Nonprofit Resources
Research Studies: National Trends

Our funding trends reports provide the latest data available on every aspect of U.S. foundation philanthropy. Our team of research experts analyzes and interprets the data on foundations that we collect — providing a national data source unique for its scope, depth, and historical value.

Reports available for download are provided in PDF format, which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.


Foundation Stats

Foundation Stats Generate free custom data on the size, scope, and giving priorities of U.S. foundations with Foundation Stats. Use this online tool to produce tables, charts, and trend graphs; save results as PDFs or download custom data for use in spreadsheets. An API is available for developers who wish to pull data into their own applications

- Visit Foundation Stats


National Trend Reports

Preview of Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, 2014 Edition

June 2014

Preview of Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, 2014 Edition Overall foundation giving is estimated to have reached nearly $55 billion in 2013, $8 billion more than in 2008, the peak year for giving prior to the economic downturn. According to a preview of the forthcoming Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, overall foundation giving will continue to grow ahead of inflation in 2014. Giving has held steady over the past several years, which is partly the result of foundations having kept their giving at higher-than-expected levels during the Great Recession. Key Facts on U.S. Foundations is the primary publication in which the Foundation Center documents the overall size of the U.S. foundation community and provides perspective on the giving priorities of the nation's largest foundations.

- Learn more
- Download the report


Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, 2013 Edition

October 2013

Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, 2013 Edition Even through a period of unpredictability in the national and global economic and political environment, domestic foundation giving has continued to grow at a moderate pace. According to Key Facts on U.S. Foundations, the Foundation Center's new annual research study, in 2011 the country's 81,777 foundations held $622 billion in assets and distributed $49 billion, an amount estimated to have reached $50.9 billion in 2012. The outlook for 2013 is for continued modest growth overall. Key Facts on U.S. Foundations is the primary publication in which the Foundation Center documents the overall size of the U.S. foundation community and provides perspective on the giving priorities of the nation's largest foundations.

- Read the press release
- Explore the report


Understanding and Benchmarking Foundation Payout

September 2012

Understanding and Benchmarking Foundation Payout The vast majority of U.S. grantmaking foundations are required by law to distribute 5 percent of their investment assets annually for charitable purposes. While this requirement is commonly known, it is often not well understood. Understanding and Benchmarking Foundation Payout demystifies the concept of payout while addressing common misperceptions. It also delivers first-ever trend information detailing the payout practices of the largest U.S. foundations.

- Read the press release
- Download the report Free


Benchmarking Foundation Administrative Expenses:
Update on How Operating Characteristics Affect Spending

September 2012

Key Facts on Corporate Foundations Benchmarking Foundation Administrative Expenses: Update on How Operating Characteristics Affect Spending explores how variations in foundations' characteristics, activities, and giving levels influence charitable administrative expense levels. It can help to inform policy debates and foundation practices.

- Read the press release
- Download the report Free




Key Facts on Corporate Foundations

August 2012

Key Facts on Corporate Foundations Corporate foundation giving grew the fastest across foundation types in 2011, according to Key Facts on Corporate Foundations (2012 Edition). Grant dollars rose 6 percent to $5.2 billion. Despite continued economic volatility, corporate profits have been at record levels, leading corporations to put more resources into their foundations. Looking ahead, just over half (53 percent) of corporate foundations responding to the Foundation Center's annual forecasting survey expect to increase their giving in 2012.

- Download the report Free


Key Facts on Community Foundations

August 2012

Key Facts on Community Foundations According to Key Facts on Community Foundations (2012 Edition), community foundation giving remained mostly unchanged in 2011. Giving declined 0.1 percent to $4.2 billion. Looking ahead, community foundations appear optimistic, with close to half that responded to the Foundation Center's annual forecasting survey anticipating increases in giving in 2012. Among these foundations, more than two-fifths estimate giving increases of 10 percent or more.

- Download the report Free


Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (2012 Edition)

June 2012

Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (2011 Edition) Giving by U.S. foundations totaled an estimated $46.9 billion in 2011, surpassing the $46.8 billion pre-recession peak recorded in 2008. Yet, after accounting for inflation, contributions by the nation's more than 76,600 foundations were down slightly from 2010. According to Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates (2012 Edition), if the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation were excluded from the totals, 2011 giving would actually have gone down by roughly 3 percent after inflation.

Key 2011 estimates include:

  • Independent and family foundations — which represent the vast majority of U.S. foundations — increased their charitable contributions by less than 2 percent to $33.1 billion before inflation.
  • Corporate foundation giving rose 6 percent to $5.2 billion before inflation, surpassing other types of foundations.
  • Community foundation giving declined slightly and totaled $4.2 billion before inflation.

- Read the press release
- Download the report Free


Key Facts on Family Foundations

February 2012

Key Facts on Family Foundations America's family foundations gave $20.6 billion in 2010, but their total giving did not reach its pre-recession peak of $21.1 billion in 2008. According to the Foundation Center's 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. The report examines family foundation 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.

- Read the press release
- Download the report Free



Foundation Yearbook (2011 Edition)

December 2011

Foundation Yearbook 2010 Foundation Yearbook, 2011 Edition, provides an overview of the state of foundation giving in the current year and beyond, comparisons of foundation activities by foundation size, and breakdowns of foundation resources by geographic location and grantmaker type. Foundation Yearbook is part of the Foundations Today Series of annual research reports on foundation growth and trends in foundation giving.

The edition's key findings include:

  • Overall foundation giving was nearly unchanged from 2009 at $45.7 billion
  • Foundation assets rose by 4.7 percent to an estimated $618.1 billion in 2010
  • Foundation giving in 2011 is expected to remain flat

- Download the highlights Free
- Order the report or the full series


Foundation Giving Trends (2011 Edition)

September 2011

Foundation Giving Trends (2011 Edition) Among the major areas of activity, education, health, human services, and public affairs/society benefit captured the largest shares of grant dollars awarded by sampled foundations in 2009, according to Foundation Giving Trends (2011 Edition). By number of grants, human services continued to rank first, with sampled funders allocating 27 percent for this area.

Key findings include:

  • Foundations awarded 186 grants of $10 million or more in 2009. Of the 10 largest, five were awarded by the Gates Foundation, mainly for health and education.
  • International giving — which cuts across all areas and includes grants awarded directly to overseas recipients and to U.S.-based international programs — accounted for nearly 24 percent of total grant dollars awarded.
  • Among specific populations, the economically disadvantaged benefited from the largest share of grant dollars (29 percent) and grants (25 percent).

- Download the highlights Free
- Order the report or the full series


Benchmarking Foundation Administrative Expenses: How Operating Characteristics Affect Spending

April 2011

Benchmarking Foundation Administrative Expenses: How Operating Characteristics Affect Spending Benchmarking Foundation Administrative Expenses: How Operating Characteristics Affect Spending explores how variations in foundations' characteristics, activities, and giving levels influence charitable (program-related) administrative expense levels. The report builds on the groundwork laid by a broader study of 2001 to 2003 foundation expenses, but focuses specifically on large independent foundations. The study's goals are to inform policy debates and foundation practices by documenting program-related administrative expenses and assessing the factors that drive these expenditures.

- Download the highlights
- Download the report Free


What Drives Foundation Expenses and Compensation? Results of a Three-Year Study

February 2008

What Drives Foundation Expenses and Compensation? Foundation type, size, staffing patterns, and operating activities are the key factors that consistently drive foundation expense and compensation patterns, according to a new report issued jointly by the Urban Institute, the Foundation Center, and GuideStar. What Drives Foundation Expenses and Compensation? Results of a Three-Year Study shows that even under changing or volatile economic conditions, the administrative expense and compensation patterns of U.S. foundations are consistent and predictable. The report presents final results from the first large-scale, long-term study of independent, corporate, and community foundations' expenses and compensation.

Key findings include:

  • Foundations differ greatly in their structures, resources, and operating characteristics and these differences significantly affect their expense levels.
  • Employment of staff is the single most important factor affecting expense levels, followed by staff size and level of program activities.
  • Most foundations do not compensate board members; those that do are most often staffed and independent.
  • There is relatively little year-to-year change in the factors that drive expense ratios and in how foundations allocate their charitable administrative expenses.

- Read the press release
- Download the report Free
- Download the Highlights


Receive Foundation Center news by e-mail

Sign up now!
More National Trend Reports

Foundations Today Series Archive


2010


- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Yearbook Highlights

2009


- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Yearbook Highlights

2008


- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Yearbook Highlights

2007


- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Yearbook Highlights

2006


- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Yearbook Highlights
- Foundation Yearbook excerpt

2005


- Foundation Yearbook Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights

2004


- Foundation Yearbook Highlights
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Foundation Giving Trends Highlights


Other Reports


2011


- Key Facts on Corporate Foundations
- Key Facts on Community Foundations
- Foundation Growth and Giving Estimates
- Key Facts on Family Foundations

2010


- Key Facts on Community Foundations
- Key Facts on Corporate Foundations
- Key Facts on Family Foundations

2009


- Key Facts on Community Foundations
- Key Facts on Corporate Foundations
- Key Facts on Family Foundations

2008


- Key Facts on Community Foundations
- Key Facts on Corporate Foundations
- Key Facts on Family Foundations

2007


- Key Facts on Corporate Foundations
- Key Facts on Family Foundations
- Key Facts on Community Foundations

2006


- Foundation Expenses and Compensation: How Operating Characteristics Influence Spending

foundationcenter.org
© Foundation Center
All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy