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California braking

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Foundations in state grew fastest in boom, slowed most in downturn.

By Todd Cohen

[05.17.04] — After posting the fastest growth among foundations in the U.S. in assets and giving during the 1990s boom years, foundations in California braked the hardest when the boom ended, a new report says.

Between 2000 and 2001, assets at California foundations fell 5.7 percent, and growth in their giving slowed to 3.9 percent, while assets at U.S. foundations overall fell only 1.9 percent, and growth in their giving slowed only to 10.7 percent, according to the report by The Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Between 1991 and 1999, in comparison, assets and giving at California foundations grew an annual average of 31.1 percent and 28 percent, respectively, says the report, “California Foundations: 2000-2001 Update.”

Despite the recent declines, the report says, assets and giving at California foundations in 2001 still were more than triple their totals in 1991.

California foundations’ assets totaled $66 billion in 2001, up from $20 billion in 1991, and their giving totaled $3 billion in 2001, up from $900 million in 1991.

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