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D.C. funders see asset spike

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The assets of foundations in Washington, D.C., and seven neighboring counties spiked almost 30 percent from 2000 to 2005, outpacing U.S. grantmakers overall, a new study says.

However, the growth in giving by the 1,605 private, independent and community foundations lagged the rest of the U.S., says the study by the Foundation Center.

D.C.-area funders reported a total of almost $12 billion in assets at the end of 2005 and gave away almost $779 million in grants that year, up almost 30 percent from 2000.

More than half the D.C.-area funders gave away less than $50,000 in 2005, the report says, while about 8 percent gave away more than $1 million.

Education and human services were top priorities for the foundations, which awarded the most money in the form of program support, followed by operating support.

The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region awarded more than $91 million in grants in 2005, more than any other funder, followed by the Fannie Mae Foundation with $38.7 million and Freedom Forum with $28.4 million.

Freedom Forum topped the list in assets with $1.07 billion in 2005, followed by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation with $638 million and the Sherman Fairchild Foundation with $504 million.

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