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Foundations give $23B – Grants nearly triple in decade

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U.S. foundations handed out nearly $23 billion in 1999, thanks to a surging stock market and large gifts from wealthy individuals, according to a new study.

As a result, the New York Times reports, many funders are making larger donations.

Total foundation assets grew to $385 billion, the annual survey by the Foundation Center shows.

Foundations are required by law to give away at least 5 percent of their assets.

Total giving grew to a record $22.8 billion in grants, up from $19.5 billion in 1998 and $8.7 billion a decade ago.

The survey shows an increase in giving by every type of foundation.

Grants totaling $5 million or more grew to 147 in 1998, up from less than 50 in the early 1990s, the Foundation Center says.

Smaller community foundations, which raise funds from donors and make grants from those funds, also are benefiting from the strong stock market and from individual donors, the Times reports.

Large donations to foundations and the creation of new foundations also are driving the increase in philanthropy, the Times reports.

The survey says the foundations has more than doubled since 1980 to nearly 47,000, with newly active foundations responsible for one-fifth of the growth in foundation giving from 1997 to 1998.

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