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Tracking foundations – $9.1B in assets

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Charity is big business in North Carolina, and a handful of foundations and corporations generate a big chunk of it.

The state has 970 foundations that control more than $9.1 billion in assets and contribute more than $550.6 million in grants, according to 1999 data compiled by The Foundation Center for the N.C. Center for Nonprofits.

The 10 foundations with the most assets account for 60 percent of all foundation assets in the state, while the 10 foundations making the most grants account for 58 percent of all grants.

And while 74 corporate foundations, or 8 percent of the total, control only 4 percent of all foundation assets, they make grants of more than $157 million, or 29 percent of the total.

One reason for that level of giving, the N.C. Center says, is that some corporate foundations receive “pass-through” corporate dollars each year and use them for grants rather than keeping the large endowments maintained by most foundations.

Three Charlotte foundations contributed the most grant dollars — The Bank of America Foundation, handing out nearly $91 million; The Duke Endowment, with $80.2 million; and the Foundation for the Carolinas, nearly $30.6 million.

They were followed by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Research Triangle Park, $26.4 million; Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Winston-Salem, $25.8 million; First Union Foundation, Charlotte, $19.4 million; Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Winston-Salem, $13 million; William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust, Chapel Hill, $12.8 million; Winston-Salem Foundation, $12 million; and Wachovia Foundation, Winston-Salem, $10.2 million. (First Union and Wachovia have since merged.)

The Duke Endowment is by far the biggest foundation, with more than $2.3 billion in assets, followed by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, with $695 million, and the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, with $618 million.

They were followed by Z. Smith Reynolds, $491 million; Kenan Trust, $456 million; Foundation for the Carolinas, $246.1 million; Cannon Foundation, Concord, $206.1 million; Winston-Salem Foundation, $180.8 million; C.D. Spangler Foundation, Charlotte, $154.5 million; and John Motley Morehead Foundation, $119.1 million.

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