March 26, 2007
Did You Know?
Foundation Giving to Arts and Culture Increased in 2005
Foundation grants are an important source of income for many nonprofit organizations. So, it came as good news when the Foundation Center recently released a clean bill of health for foundation giving. The Center’s Foundation Giving Trends, 2007, reported that foundations awarded six percent more grant money in 2005 than in 2004.
The report analyzed the distribution of funding by subject focus, and found that arts and culture held a large—and growing—share of foundation funds in 2005. Arts and culture received the fourth largest share of grant dollars ($2 billion)—trailing education, health, and human services—and the third largest share (18,698) of total grants. When compared to the other subject areas with large shares of funding, arts and culture experienced the third-fastest growth rate in grant dollars between 2002 and 2005. A majority of funding for arts and culture came from foundations based in New England. Small foundations also tended to allocate a larger percentage of their funds to arts and culture than larger foundations.
The data also highlighted foundation giving trends that will inform successful grant-writing. In 2005, foundations shifted funding away from programs that benefit the economically disadvantaged and awarded the largest share of funding to programs that benefited children and youth (regardless of subject focus). Programs that served single parents, substance abusers and military and veterans experienced the largest growth in foundation giving. Foundations also awarded more money for specific types of support. In 2005, program support declined slightly but retained 45 percent of grant dollars and general support’s share slipped to 20 percent. Foundations increased capital support, for the first time in five years, to 18.5 percent of all grant dollars.
Source: “Highlights of Foundation Giving Trends,” Foundation Center, 2007.
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