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Surge in West – Assets, grants grow

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Foundation philanthropy is booming in the U.S. west and is expected to continue at unprecedented levels throughout the U.S., although the rate of increase nationally may slow, a new study says.

Assets of foundations in western states grew to $107.1 billion in 1999, up 31.9 percent, according to the 2001 edition of Foundation Yearbook published by The Foundation Center in New York.

For the first time, foundations in the West controlled more assets than those in the Midwest, which had $101.5 billion, or in the South, with $94 billion.

The West’s share of all foundation assets in the U.S. grew to nearly 24 percent from only 8.6 percent in 1975.

Foundations in the Northeast control the biggest single bloc of assets — $146 billion, or 32.6 percent, unchanged from 1998.

Giving by foundations in the West grew 31.6 percent from 1998 to 1999, compared to 19.9 percent for all U.S. foundations.

Foundations in the Northeast posted the biggest growth in actual grant dollars, to $7.8 billion – and continued to hand out the biggest share of overall grant dollars, 33.5 percent, followed by the Midwest, 24.9 percent; the South, 22.3 percent; and the West, 19.3 percent.

The West was expected to pass the South in the share of foundation giving in 2000, the study says.

Nationally, despite the slumping economy and stock market, all U.S. grantmaking foundations gave an estimated $27.6 billion to nonprofits in 2000, up 18.4 percent from actual giving of $23.3 billion in 1999.

Foundation assets grew $448.6 billion in 1999, up 16.5 percent from 1998.

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