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Corporate and foundation philanthropy down in the recession; education and human services were top recipients

Post by C.R. Roberts / The News Tribune on May 15, 2012 at 6:48 am |
May 14, 2012 5:51 pm

Philanthropy Northwest, a Seattle-based agency that assists grantmakers in six Northwest states, is out this week with its biennial report of corporate and foundation giving.

Where foundations and corporations gave Northwest nonprofits $1.3 billion in 2008, the number dipped to $1.08 billion in 2010, a 23.5 percent decline.

Listing trends, the authors of the report noted a reduction in capital grants; a prevalence of small grants, with more than half under $10,000; increased regionalism as foundations and corporations offer funding in multiple Northwest states; and an percent increase in funds given to Indian Country while most other categories show a decrease.

The data do not reflect giving by individuals but rather by organized philanthropy – including that by community foundations, which accounts for some 20 percent of giving.

Among the data:

• 65 percent of all dollars given in the region were directed to education (30 percent), human services (18 percent) and international grants (17 percent).
• Of the funding for education, 70 percent of donations and grants went to higher education while 14 percent went to K-12 education. The remainder was directed to after-school programs, policy advocacy, public libraries, scholarships, adult education and vocational and technical schools.
• Funding for education represented 20 percent of total giving by established founders in 2004
• Northwest founders gave a greater percentage to human-services organizations than did national founders – by 32 percent to 27 percent.
• The median grant by established founders (those that have reported since 2004), and who gave more than $1,000, was $8,000 in 2010, up from $7,500 in 2008.
• Total giving to tribal government councils and Native American villages increased from $1.3 million in 2004 to $4.8 million in 2010.
• 41 percent of total dollars supporting Native populations were given in Alaska.
• The top three founders in 2010 were the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation of Seattle, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation of California and the Oregon Community Foundation.
• Microsoft, Boeing and Idaho’s Micron Foundation led corporate giving.
In Washington, the top three givers were the Gates Foundation, Microsoft and the Seattle Foundation. The Milgard Foundation of Tacoma was the state’s tenth greatest giver in 2010.
• The median grant in Washington was $10,000.
• Regionally, the arts in 2010 received $76.8 million, or approximately 7 percent of the total given. Performing arts received nearly 35 percent of the total given in the category. Museums received 31 percent.
• Natural resources received 67 percent of the total given to the environment and animal-related category, which itself received 7.12 percent of the overall total given.
• Global health received 67 percent of the international category, which received 16.7 percent of the overall total.
• The religion category received $10.7 million, or about 1 percent of the overall total given.

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