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Foundation giving climbs to $32.4 billion in 2004

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Giving by the more than 66,000 private and community foundations in the U.S. grew 7 percent last year to $32.4 billion, a new study says.

The Foundation Yearbook, published by the Foundation Center in Washington, D.C., analyzes trends and developments in foundation giving.

Last year’s growth reversed two years of dips in giving, with grant dollars in 2003 totaling $30.3 billion, down 0.4 percent from the previous year.

Giving in the Northeast grew faster than in any other region, the study says, with Maine showing the highest rate of growth in 2003, while foundations in New York gave more than any other state overall.

Independent foundations awarded almost three in four grant dollars in 2003, despite a 2.3 percent drop in giving, while all other sectors saw increases in giving, the study says.

Assets grew for all regions to a total of $476.7 billion in 2003 with the Western region showing the largest jump in assets, led by California, and only four states the U.S. showed declines, the study says.

The total number of foundations in the U.S. grew 2.4 percent in 2003 to 66,398, with the Western region leading the way in number of new foundations, and corporate foundations growing almost 8 percent, faster than any other group, the study says.

Gifts to foundations totaled $24.9 billion in 2003, up 12 percent over 2002, with gifts to independent foundations leading the way with a 13.6 percent jump over the prior year.

Given economic and stock market concerns, giving for 2005 is expected to grow only slightly, the report says.

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