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Private foundations often make grants within all or part of a single state. One way to explore differences in levels of within-state competition for private foundation grants is to compare ratios of persons to grant-making foundations across the states. Such explorations suggest that in some states nonprofits may face far greater competition for private grants than in others.

 

Persons per Foundation by State:

Statistics, derived from the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) and the US Bureau of the Census, indicate that some states have far fewer persons per grant-making 501(c)(3) private foundation than others. At the extremes, Kentucky has nearly eight times (8x) as many persons per grant-making 501(c)(3) private foundation as Delaware.

 

In terms of numbers of persons per grant-making 501(c)(3) private foundation, as of 2009:

  • 19 states had fewer than the national average of 2,545.30 persons per foundation
  • 2 states had averages of fewer than 1,000.00 persons per foundation
  • 8 states had averages of fewer than 2,000.00 persons per foundation
  • 28 states had averages of fewer than 3,000.00 persons per foundation
  • 22 states had averages of more than 3,000.00 persons per foundation
  • 10 states had averages of more than 4,000.00 persons per foundation
  • 1 state had averages of more than 5,000.00 persons per foundation

 

Among the nation’s 10 most populous states, four had ratios below the national average (2,545.30) and six above it. In order, they were — New York – 1,430.66; New Jersey – 2,087.69; Illinois – 2,216.00; Pennsylvania – 2,321.32; Florida – 2,595.26; California – 2,743.80; Michigan – 2,957.50; Virginia – 3197.81; Texas – 3,223.92; and Georgia – 3,448.85.

 

Among the nation’s 10 least populous states, six had ratios below the national average (2,545.30) and four above it. In order, they were — Rhode Island – 652.95; Delaware – 712.09; Vermont – 1,602.47; Wyoming – 1,820.30; Hawaii – 2,264.30; Maine – 2,354.11; Montana – 2,565.76; South Dakota – 3,943.61; Alaska – 4,207.67; and North Dakota – 4,312.29.

 

Cautions About Data:

The NCCS cautions that its data obscure several statistical realities. One is that Washington DC’s total includes many private foundations that focus on international grant making, not local grant making, Another is that Montana’s total includes one foundation that registered all of its affiliate members that make grants only in other states, not in Montana.

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