Foundation Support Fuels Millions of Jobs, Billions in Economic Activity, Report Finds

Foundation investments not only support millions of jobs and generate billions of dollars in wages and tax revenues, they also have a deep, far-reaching impact on America's communities that extends over generations, new research from the Philanthropic Collaborative finds.

According to Economic Impacts of 2010 Foundation Grantmaking on the U.S. Economy (60 pages, PDF), $37.85 billion in foundation grantmaking in 2010 helped create nearly 500,000 jobs directly, one million jobs indirectly, and $63.58 billion in gross domestic product. Moreover, these investments lead to long-term benefits for society — things like higher-quality education, more employment opportunities, and urban revitalization — as well as nearly 4.5 million new jobs in subsequent years. The report estimates that, over the long term, foundation investments will create more than 8.8 million jobs, contribute more than $570.5 billion to GDP, and generate $117.9 billion in tax revenue.

The report also includes eight case studies that illustrate the economic and social impact of foundation activity at the community level and highlight the virtuous circle in which a strong philanthropic sector contributes to a strong economy, which, in turn, strengthens philanthropy.

"Although public and elected officials may be familiar with specific foundation-supported charitable organizations, the broader importance of the sector to our society and the size of its impact are less well known," said John Tyler, chairman of the Philanthropic Collaborative and general counsel and secretary of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. "Fortunately, appreciation is growing for the far-reaching effect that foundations and charitable giving have in our communities. That is a good trend, but there is more to be done."