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Profile of the Funding Community
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?
Do foundations give outside of the United States?
What else do we know about where foundations give their support?
Is there information available on funding for special topics?
How can I get more information on giving trends?
Foundations Today Tutorial

What Foundation Grants Support

Each year the Foundation Center indexes individual grants of $10,000 or more for over 1,000 of the largest foundations. Specifically, the grants processing staff identifies the subject of each grant, the type of recipient, types of support provided (e.g., capital or operating), the beneficiary groups served, and the geographic focus. Summary statistics on the grants database sample for the latest year include the following:

  • The 2010 grants sample included 152,692 grants awarded by 1,330 foundations totaling $20.5 billion. These grants accounted for roughly half of the grant dollars awarded by over 75,000 active foundations.
  • In 2010 the sample included a total of 58,697 unique recipient organizations.
  • For a matched set of 476 grantmakers*, grant dollars decreased 9.2 percent between 2009 and 2010, from $12.7 billion to $11.6 billion. The number of grants awarded increased 1.8 percent, from 76,841 to 78,259.
*The matched set analyzes year-to-year changes in giving by sampled grantmakers. Over time, the sample size has changed, which could distort year-to-year fluctuations in grant dollars and grants targeting specific activities or populations. To account for these potential distortions, changes in giving are analyzed only for a matched set of funders included in both the 2009 and 2010 samples.
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