Local funds soar – Gifts up 28 percent

Community foundations in the U.S. are on a roll.

Gifts to 582 community foundations grew 28 percent to more than $3.6 billion in 1999, while assets increased nearly 19 percent to $29.9 billion, according to an annual survey by the Columbus Foundation.

Grants handed out last year by community foundations grew 26 percent to $1.9 billion, with the growth fueled by increased marketing and development efforts, a boost in the market value of appreciated assets and the first impact of the transfer of wealth between generations that is expected to total trillions of dollars over the next half-century.

The survey also found that 74 community foundations received more than $10 million in gifts in 1999, up from eight in 1988; 41 foundations paid grants of $10 million or more, up from seven in 1988; and 61 foundations have more than $100 million in assets, up from 12 in 1988.

Four community foundations had assets of more than $1 billion — New York Community Trust, $2 billion; Cleveland Foundation, $1.6 billion; Marin Community Foundation in California, $1.2 billion; and Chicago Community Trust, $1.1 billion.

For details on the survey, go to Columbus Foundation.

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