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Corporate foundations are one of four primary types of foundation, the others being independent, community, and operating. Concentrated in nine states, they account for about 3.5% of all private and community foundations and for about 10% of total annual foundation giving. In recent years, more or less half (50%±) of corporate foundations have expected to increase their giving in a subsequent calendar year; the rest have expected either no change in giving or a decrease.

 

This post uses Foundation Center data, published in its annual “Key Facts on Corporate Foundations” series, to explore philanthropic trends among corporate foundations. Its context is the United States of America during the period 2006-11.

 

Numbers of Corporate Foundations:

From 2006 to 2010, the total number of private and community foundations increased by 4,133 (or 5.7%) from 72,477 to 76,610. Over the same period, the total number of corporate foundations increased by 170 (or 6.67%) from 2,548 to 2,718. Their share of all private and community foundations increased by 0.04% from 3.51% to 3.55%.

 

Year Corporate Foundations Private and Community Foundations
  Number Percent (%) of Total Number Total Number
2006 2,548 3.51% 72,477
2007 2,498 3.32% 75,187
2008 2,745 3.63% 75,595
2009 2,733 3.57% 76,545
2010 2,718 3.55% 76,610

 

In 2006, eight states had 100 or more corporate foundations: California (CA), Illinois (IL), Massachusetts (MA), New York (NY), Ohio (OH), Pennsylvania (PA), Texas (TX), and Wisconsin (WI). In 2008, Minnesota (MN) became the ninth state to have 100 or more corporate foundations. New Jersey (NJ) joined the list as the tenth state to have so many in 2009, but it left the same list in 2010.

 

Share of Total Foundation Giving:

From 2006 to 2010, corporate foundation giving (excluding operating foundations) held steady, varying only from 11% to 10% then back to 11% as a fraction of total foundation giving.

 

Annual Giving by Foundation Type:

During 2006 to 2010, annual giving by corporate foundations (excluding operating foundations) increased from $4.1 billion to $4.7 billion (and increased further to an estimated $5.2 billion in 2011). Total foundation giving increased from $39 billion to $45.9 billion over the same five-year period.

 

  Annual Giving by Type of Foundation
Year Independent Community Operating Corporate Total
2006 $27.5 billion $3.6 billion $3.9 billion $4.1 billion $39.0 billion
2007 $32.2 billion $4.3 billion $3.4 billion $4.4 billion $44.4 billion
2008 $33.8 billion $4.5 billion $3.9 billion $4.6 billion $46.8 billion
2009 $32.8 billion $4.2 billion $4.2 billion $4.7 billion $45.8 billion
2010 $32.5 billion $4.2 billion $4.3 billion $4.7 billion $45.9 billion

 

Forecast Changes in Corporate Giving:

During survey years 2007 through 2011 — with the single exception of 2009 — slightly more than half of all corporate foundations expected to increase their giving during the following year (i.e., in 2008 through 2012). The balance of the corporate foundations in each survey expected either to see no change in giving or to see a decrease.

 

Year of Forecast % Forecast Increase %  Forecast Decrease % Forecast No Change
2007 54% 29% 18%
2008 51% 28% 21%
2009 43% 40% 17%
2010 52% 31% 17%
2011 53% 31% 16%

 

Later posts will explore similar trends in other types of foundations.

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