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Charitable slowdown – Funding outlook grim

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The slumping U.S. economy is taking its toll on charity, The New York Times reported Feb. 19.

Seventy-nine of 142 big foundations included in a new survey by The Chronicle of Philanthropy expect their giving to stay flat or fall this year, with just over half saying their assets fell last year, the Times said.

The falloff comes in the wake of a near tripling in foundation giving – to $20 billion — over the past 10 years.

That support is critical to nonprofits during tough times when individuals and corporations give less, the Times said.

Assets of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, for example, fell 25 percent to $9.8 billion, although the foundation has no plans to cut its grants budget this year.

The median decline in assets among the biggest foundations was only 0.3 percent, the Times said, but the falloff would have been much greater without the success of the two biggest U.S. foundations.

Bill Gates donated $5 billion to the $21 billion-asset Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Lilly Endowment’s $15 billion grew as a result of a strong showing by Eli Lilly & Co. stock.

For full story, go to The New York Times.

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