Private and community foundations in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas awarded $5 billion to charitable causes in 2011, a report from Philanthropy Southwest finds.
Based on 2009 data, the report, 2014 Giving Study: An Overview of Grantmaking by Private and Community Foundations in the Southwest (28 pages, PDF), found that grantmaking in the region increased some 18 percent since the last study, while total assets grew nearly 12 percent, to more than $69 billion. Leading the way was Oklahoma, which saw an increase of 51.8 percent in grantmaking and 24.1 percent in assets, while giving in Arkansas rose 18.6 percent, even as assets decreased some 13 percent. Only in Texas did the growth in assets outpace that of grantmaking over the two-year period; of the $5 billion in gifts made to 389 foundations in the region in 2011, $2.5 billion went to 211 foundations headquartered in Texas.
The report also found that the largest share of grant dollars was awarded in the area of education (35.4 percent), followed by human services (16.4 percent), public/societal benefit (15.8 percent), and health (11.1 percent). Foundations in Arkansas directed the highest percentage of their funding to education (60.6 percent), with the other six states ranging from nearly 39 percent (Colorado) to less than 17 percent (Nevada).
Of the 5,868 foundations in the study, 5,778 were private foundations and accounted for $60.7 billion in assets and $4.6 billion in giving, while ninety were community foundations, with $8.33 billion in assets and giving of nearly $549.5 million. Conducted by Jankowski Associates, the study also found that eighty-one new foundations with combined assets of more than $1 billion were formed in the region in 2010 and 2011.
"This report tells the story of funders managing assets wisely, with many making grants from their asset base to meet increased needs post-recession," said John Brown, Philanthropy Southwest board president and executive director of the Windgate Charitable Foundation. "These grants were distributed one at a time by staff and trustees who listened to compelling cases of opportunity and need and responded to visions for a better future."