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All four primary types of grant-making foundations – independent, corporate, community, operating – are more numerous today than at any time in the past. They differ in their shares of the sum of all grant-making foundations and in their shares of total annual giving.

 

This post explores recent trends in the United States of America in the distribution of all grant-making foundations by type and by shares of total annual giving. An earlier post explored trends in the numbers of foundations making grants to nonprofit organizations.

 

Foundations by Type:

Data available via the Foundation Center’s FC Stats site indicate that during the period, 2005-2009, independent foundations increased from 88.7% to 89.5% of all grant-making foundations. Operating foundations declined from 6.6% in 2005 to 6.0% in 2009; corporate foundations slid ever so slightly from 3.7% to 3.6%, and community foundations similarly slid from 1.0% to 0.9%.

 

Distribution by Types of Private and Community Foundations
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Type N % N % N % N % N %
Independent 63,059 88.7 64,405 88.9 67,034 89.2 67,379 89.1 68,508 89.5
Corporate 2,607 3.7 2,548 3.5 2,498 3.3 2,745 3.6 2,733 3.6
Community 707 1.0 717 1.0 717 1.0 709 0.9 737 0.9
Operating 4,722 6.6 4,807 6.6 4,938 6.6 4,762 6.3 4,567 6.0
Total 71,095   72,477   75,187   75,595   76,545  

 

Foundations by Annual Giving:

The Foundation Center’s data indicate that corporate, community, and operating foundations accounted for shares of total annual giving disproportionately larger than their shares of all grant-making foundations. In 2009, corporate foundations were 3.6% of all foundations, but accounted for 10.2% of annual giving; community foundations were 0.9% of all foundations, but accounted for 9.1% of annual giving; and, operating foundations were 6.0% of all foundations, but accounted for 9.1% of annual giving. By contrast, independent foundations were 89.5% of all foundations, but accounted for 71.5% of annual giving.

 

During the period, 2005-2009, independent foundations’ shares of total annual giving rose from 69.2% to 71.5% and community foundations’ shares rose from 8.8% to 9.1%. During the same period, corporate foundations’ shares of total annual giving fell somewhat from 11.0% to 10.2% and operating foundations’ shares fell somewhat more from 11.0% to 9.1%.

 

Annual Giving Among Private and Community Foundations
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Type $Billion % $Billion % $Billion % $Billion % $Billion %
Independent 25.199 69.2 27.457 70.4 32.219 72.6 33.818 72.3 32.752 71.5
Corporate 3.995 11.0 4.097 10.5 4.397 9.9 4.570 9.8 4.690 10.2
Community 3.217 8.8 3.596 9.2 4.347 9.8 4.492 9.6 4.174 9.1
Operating 3.990 11.0 3.852 9.9 3.428 7.7 3.900 8.3 4.160 9.1
Total 36.402   39.004   44.393   46.781   45.778  

 

Trend Implications:

Among the implications of the trend data for cutting up the grant-making pie:

  • Independent foundations form an ever-larger slice
  • Operating foundations form an ever-smaller slice
  • Community foundations form a stable but growing slice
  • Corporate foundations form a stable but shrinking slice

 

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  1. […] Knowing the Competition: Foundations as Funders (grantresults.wordpress.com) […]

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