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  Press Release


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

Lawrence T. McGill
Senior Vice President for Research
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-3634

Foundation Center Releases Giving by Foundations in the National Capital Region: How Much Stays Local?

Groundbreaking Study of Local Foundation Giving Within a U.S. Metropolitan Area

New York, NY — February 17, 2009. Foundations in the Washington metropolitan area granted nearly $186 million in 2006 to locally-focused organizations in Greater Washington, according to Giving by Foundations in the National Capital Region, a report released today by the Foundation Center, with support from the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation.

This study — the first ever to examine locally-focused giving within a specific metropolitan area anywhere in the United States — analyzes the giving of 1,191 foundations based in the District of Columbia, suburban Maryland, and northern Virginia to determine how much of their grantmaking was targeted to Greater Washington organizations with a predominantly local focus. The report also examines giving by the 26 largest foundations in the sample to identify the subject areas in which these grants were given.

"Along with fulfilling their missions, foundations are also citizens of their local communities," said Larry McGill, senior vice president for research at the Foundation Center. "With data on how much of their giving stays local, foundations in the Greater Washington area are better positioned to assess the collective impact of their work in the region."

Key report findings include:

  • Locally-focused organizations in the Washington metropolitan area received 33 percent of the grant dollars awarded in 2006 by Washington area foundations.
  • The highest proportion of grant dollars awarded by the 26 largest foundations for local purposes — 33 percent — went to human services projects. Education ranked second, at 17 percent of grant dollars awarded.
  • Larger foundations were only slightly less likely than smaller foundations to engage in locally-focused grantmaking: excluding the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region (the area's largest funder by total giving), the 25 largest foundations awarded 30 percent of their grant dollars to locally-focused organizations, while smaller foundations awarded 33 percent.

Giving by Foundations in the National Capital Region is available for free access and download at the Gain Knowledge area of the Center's web site.

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 47,000 visits each day, and thousands of people gain access to free resources in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 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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