Foundations are active in nearly all fields and disciplines; however, a few areas have consistently received greater support than others. The Foundation Center documents funding trends by analyzing fields of interest—as well as types of recipient organizations—based on breakdowns that closely follow the National Taxonomy of Exempt Entities (NTEE).
View chart on Grants by Major Subject Categories, 2010
- In 2010 education and health benefitted from the largest shares of grant dollars.
- Education received 23.7 percent of grant dollars, followed by health (21.7 percent) and human services (15.1 percent).
- Human services received the largest share of number of grants, followed by education and arts and culture.
- For a matched set of 476 grantmakers*, only education, public affairs/society benefit, and science and technology benefited from increased funding between 2009 and 2010. All other major subject categories saw declines in giving.
- Based on type of recipient organization, educational institutions accounted for close to one-third of grant dollars in 2010; these grants spanned a wide range of disciplines and subjects (e.g., health and international affairs).
View chart on Major Field-Specific Recipient Types, 2010
Foundation giving priorities differ substantially from those of individuals. Foundations favor educational institutions and human service agencies, while individuals provide the majority of their funding to religious congregations.