European charities ranked

The 40 foundations in European that gave the most in grants contributed 3.2 billion euros in 2002, or $3.5 billion, says a new ranking by Philanthropy in Europe magazine.

In comparison, the 40 U.S. foundations that spent the most gave $7.4 billion in 2002, or 6.8 billion euros.

The 40 European foundations give more abroad, with nearly all giving outside their countries, while only 14 of the U.S. foundations that gave the most made international contributions.

Germany, Italy and Britain are home to the most foundations on the list, the first-ever continent-wide ranking.

The largest foundation, both in total assets and spending, is the Wellcome Trust in London, which gave 701 million euros in 2002, over $765 million, and had assets of 13.1 billion euros, or $14.3 billion.

In comparison, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the biggest in the U.S. in total assets and spending, gave $1.15 billion in 2002, and had assets of $33.2 billion.

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