Environment, Human Services, and Health Realize Fastest Growth in Giving by U.S. Foundations in 1999

At the end of the 20th century, the nation's nonprofit community continued to benefit from an unprecedented boom in foundation giving, according to a new study by the Foundation Center. Overall, the more than 1,000 larger U.S. private and community foundations included in the 1999 Foundation Center grants sample awarded more than 108,000 grants totaling $11.6 billion to over 44,500 organizations — a 19.2 percent increase in giving and an 11.3 percent rise in number of grants over the prior year. In addition, the number of the very largest grants — those of $5 million or more — jumped 15 percent, to a record 169.

"The growth in giving seen in the 1999 sample did not quite match the record gains reported for 1998," noted Loren Renz, vice president for research at the Foundation Center. "Yet in terms of actual grant dollars, foundations showed a slightly bigger increase in the latest year." This increase benefited nearly every field, with "the environment, human services, and health all realizing above-average growth in foundation support."

The analysis of 1999 giving is based on a sample of 108,169 grants of $10,000 or more reported by 1,016 foundations, including approximately 800 of the 1,000 largest by total giving. These foundations, while representing only 2.1 percent of the total number of active grantmaking foundations, awarded approximately half of all foundation grant dollars reported in the latest year.

To download highlights of Foundation Giving Trends, visit: http://fdncenter.org/research/trends_analysis/pdf/01fgthl.pdf.

"Environment, Human Services, and Health Realize Fastest Growth in Giving by Top-Ranked U.S. Foundations in 1999" Foundation Center News Release 03/19/2001.