Survey Says: Foundations Cautious, Despite Asset Gains

(3-26-10) On March 21, The Chronicle of Philanthropy released the results of their survey of 80 large private foundations. While this select group is only a small percentage of the nation's grantmakers, The Chronicle estimates that it represents 20% of the foundation world's wealth and can therefore be considered an indicator of major trends in giving.

The survey results, in short:

  • In the last year, foundation assets rose a median 7.4 percent.
  • In 2010, giving forecasts reflect a fairly even three-way split between increased, decreased, and static grantmaking.
  • Some larger foundations are responding to the economic downturn by funding charitable organizations' operating costs.
  • 60 percent of the foundations surveyed have trimmed administrative and staff costs.

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