Community Foundations Plan to Increase Funding for Human Services in 2009, Survey Finds

A majority of community foundations said they plan to increase funding for human service organizations in 2009, thanks in part to increased support from the donor-advised funds they administer, a new survey conducted by the Council on Foundations finds.

The survey found that the majority of community foundations which responded will maintain or increase their grantmaking from donor-advised funds to address human services needs in 2009. The survey also found that 56 percent of respondents' 2008 giving ($1.7 billion) came from donor-advised funds, with 28 percent of the grantmaking from such funds addressing critical community needs, including food, health care, education, and foreclosure prevention. Payout from donor-advised funds (16.4 percent) was more than three times the payout from other funds (5 percent).

"Community foundations continue to focus on and meet the needs of their communities during this economic crisis," said Council on Foundations president and CEO Steve Gunderson. "Today, donor-advised funds represent the most popular tool of their citizens to support these needs. Our study shows that a majority of these funds plan to maintain or increase their giving in the next year, which again defines the power of community engagement in community need."

"Key to Serving our Communities During This Economic Crisis." Council on Foundations Press Release 03/27/2009.