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What Foundation Grants Support
What are foundations' preferred funding areas?
Is funding for operating support increasing?
How much funding targets children, people of color, women, and other groups?
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Foundations Today Tutorial

How has funding for type of support changed over time?

In 2010, share of grant dollars and number of grants for general support reached record highs.

  • In 2010, funding for general or unrestricted support totaled $4.6 billion, while its share of grant dollars increased slightly to 22.4 percent. By share of number of grants, operating support rose to 27.5 percent in 2010, compared to 25.8 percent in 2009.
  • Capital support—including funding for building and renovation, equipment, technology, and endowments—declined from 15.8 percent of grant dollars in 2008 to 13.5 percent in 2009, and stayed roughly the same at 13.6 percent in 2010.
  • Program support—which includes funding for activities ranging from program development to seed money, to conferences, to curriculum development—continued to account for the largest share of grant dollars (53 percent of total foundation giving in 2010).
  • International affairs, public affairs/society benefit, and human services received larger shares of general or operating support in 2009.

    View chart on the Major Types of Support, 2010
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