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Charlotte assets surge – ‘Social capital’ target of study

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By Todd Cohen

CHARLOTTE – The Foundation for the Carolinas is on a roll.

Assets of the Charlotte-based funder grew to $246 million last year, up 12 percent from the previous year.

And the foundation contributed more than $41 million in gifts last year, created 165 new funds and handed out more than $30 million in gifts.

The foundation, which is aiming to build its assets to $1 billion in a decade, also has commissioned Robert Putnam, head of the Saguaro Center at Harvard University, to conduct a survey of the region’s “social capital.”

The study, part of a larger initiative Putnam is overseeing for 44 community foundations throughout the U.S., will measure such factors as civic engagement, trust in government and involvement in civic activities, groups and informal networks.

The study, to be conducted this summer and released in the fall, also is expected to track volunteering and philanthropic giving in the region.

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