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  Press Release


Maggie Morth
Communications Manager
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2415


Foundation Center Maps Philanthropy's Response to the Economic Crisis

Provides First Look at Foundation Support
to Nonprofits Affected by Downturn

New York, NY — December 4, 2008. The Foundation Center is collecting the most recent data available on U.S. foundation support in response to the economic crisis, offering the first look at how foundations are aiding nonprofits as they struggle with the fallout from the downturn. The Center is making this information publicly available in an interactive map, launched today on its web site, and has already gathered information on more than $56 million in support — 135 grants and program-related investments (PRIs) of approximately $22 million and $34 million respectively. The map displays the data by state, county, city, ZIP code, or congressional district.

"America's foundations are marshalling their resources to secure the social safety net at this critical time when public funding is down and service demands are up," said Bradford Smith, president of the Foundation Center. "The real-time information in this map will help grantmakers fill gaps and foster collaborations to meet the pressing needs of nonprofits and the communities they serve."

The grants and PRIs represent a range of foundations and giving interests, among them several aimed at forestalling foreclosures in major urban centers. Examples include a $2 million grant from the Ford Foundation to the Detroit Economic Growth Foundation for foreclosure prevention and emergency assistance for low-income populations in Detroit, and a $2.5 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago as part of its $68 million initiative to prevent foreclosures and mitigate their effects on Chicago neighborhoods. The PRIs are from the MacArthur Foundation to three organizations for mortgage programs and other types of community assistance.

"The financial crisis has sparked a critical debate about economic fairness in this country," said Ford Foundation President Luis Ubiņas. "We need to work together to promote a fairer and more effective financial system that works for all Americans and prevents the recurrence of a similar crisis."

"Our $68 million foreclosure prevention and mitigation initiative comes out of our long-standing support for community and economic development in Chicago neighborhoods," said Jonathan Fanton, president of the MacArthur Foundation. "This work also responds to local needs resulting from the economic crisis, which threatens to disrupt hard-won progress in some of the city's most challenging, but promising, neighborhoods."

Numerous grants have been awarded for emergency financial assistance to provide food, shelter, clothing, medical care, housing, and other sustaining needs. For instance, the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust has allocated the first $475,000 of a $1 million commitment for community relief to 15 human service agencies in Maricopa County, Arizona. "Piper trustees made this commitment to provide relief to organizations strained to the breaking point as costs have mounted and donations have dropped," said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO of the Piper Charitable Trust. "The foundation is committed to raising public awareness of the plight of nonprofits, and the Foundation Center's effort to highlight grants aimed at addressing their needs supports that goal."

New grants will be added to the map on an ongoing basis to provide the most current picture of foundation giving for programs and issues relating to the downturn. An RSS feed will deliver the latest grants lists to anyone who signs up at the Center's site. Grantmakers are encouraged to send announcements about grants or PRIs related to the economic crisis to Matthew Ross at

This mapping resource is part of the Center's broader initiative to provide the latest information, news, and research to shed light on the potential impact of the economic climate on the field of philanthropy. Visit "Focus on the Economic Crisis" at

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956, and today supported by close to 600 foundations, the Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance philanthropy at every level. The Center's web site receives more than 57,000 visits each day, and thousands of people gain access to free resources in its five regional offices and a network of close to 400 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions in every U.S. state and beyond. For more information, please visit or call (212) 620-4230.

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