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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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How much funding targets children, ethnic/racial minorities, women, and other specific population groups?

The Grants Classification System tracks 24 major beneficiary groups. If the intended beneficiary includes more than one population group, the grant is added to the total amount reported for each applicable category. Because grants may be counted more than once, each category is analyzed as a percentage of the total grant dollars and number of grants reported in the sample.

  • Fewer than half (45 percent) of foundation grants in the sample were targeted to specified beneficiary groups in 2010, while the majority of grants were unspecified or intended to benefit the general public.
  • The economically disadvantaged accounted for the largest share of giving and the largest share of grants in 2010—30 percent of grant dollars and 28 percent of grants.
  • For a matched set of 476 grantmakers*, people with disabilities showed the largest percentage gain, followed by military and veterans.
  • In contrast people with AIDS, single parents, and women and girls experienced the largest percentage declines in funding.

View chart on Major Grant Beneficiary Groups, 2010

*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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