Few funders field staff

Only one in six of the largest U.S. foundations employs staff, although the number of staff positions and staffed foundations continues to rise, says a new report.

Of foundations with staff, three in five have a staff of two or fewer, and only 30 employ 50 or more, says the 2003 Foundation Staffing report published by The Foundation Center in New York.

The center surveyed over 20,000 private, community and corporate foundations with assets over $1 million or annual giving over $100,000.

Of foundations surveyed, 3,360, or 16 percent, employ paid staff, reflecting steady growth from 2,171 over the past 10 years.

While they represent 5.4 percent of all 62,000 foundations in the U.S., foundations with staffs account for over half of total foundation assets and giving.

Foundation jobs, which total 17,821, grew 80 percent over the past 10 years, including 300 new positions last year, when overall U.S. employment fell.

Foundations in the West have the largest staffs, on average, compared to other regions in the U.S., while the Northeast has the largest number of foundations with staffs.

While the West has fewer foundations than other regions, a larger percentage of its foundations employ staff.

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