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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Reports Show Foundations Lead the Way as Nonprofit Sector Continues to Grow

Posted by Armanino Nonprofit Team

Back in 2012, America was slowly climbing out of the Great Recession, and foundations were leading the way by distributing a then record $52 billion. A year later, foundations again broke the record by distributing $54.7 billion. The numbers come from a new report—Key Facts on U.S. Foundations—released by the Foundation Center in New York City, and they paint an encouraging portrait of a nonprofit industry that continues to move forward.

The Foundation Center’s report showed there were 86,192 foundations with an aggregate $715 billion in assets. Here is how that breaks down:

  • Independent foundations control 82% of the assets ($584 billion) and gave 68% of the 2012 $52 billion total, or $35.4 billion.
  • Community foundations made up only 1% of the total number of foundations but had 9% of the assets and gave 10% of the total dollars.
  • Health and education led the way as the top focuses for grants, at $5 billion and 22% of total giving each. Grants for human services accounted for the highest number of grants, at 42,037. The median grant amount was $30,000. Some 58,000 organizations worldwide received these grants, but nearly half of the $22.4 billion went to 1%of the recipients.
  • Internationally, health was the greatest focus for grants, with $2.2 billion going overseas for health causes. International development and disaster relief organizations received $1.2 billion. The Gates Foundation, which gave $2.6 billion internationally in 2012, has been the top international funder since 2004. The Switzerland-based World Health Organization was the top recipient of international grant dollars in 2012.

The Foundation Center’s report comes on the heels of the Nonprofit Times’ recent 25th annual snapshot of the nation’s largest charitable organizations. The 2014 NPT Top 100 reported total revenue of $70.067 billion, up 3.19% compared to last year while public support was up 5.6%, to $34.931 billion.

Those gains were posted against strong headwinds. Government support declined 5.6% and investment income was down 6.26%. Nonprofits compensated by leveraging “other revenue”—that which comes from sources outside the nonprofits core mission—to post a 20.5% gain. The larger category of ‘program revenue’ was up 2.19% for the same period.

Download the Reports

You can download a PDF version of Foundation Center’s Key Facts on U.S. Foundations report here. A copy of the Nonprofit Times’ 2014 NPT Top 100  report can be found here.

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