Foundations give record $40.7 billion

The 71,000 grantmaking foundations in the U.S. gave away an estimated $40.7 billion last year, up 11.7 percent over 2005 for a second straight double-digit rise, a new study says.

Growth was driven primarily by stock market gains, says the Highlights of the 2007 edition of the Foundation Yearbook, published by the Foundation Center.

Growth was aided by the creation of 3,300 new foundations, higher payout rates and growth in giving by foundations affiliated with pharmaceutical companies.

Final numbers on giving by foundations will be available in spring 2008.

For 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, combined foundation assets stood at $550.6 billion and giving grew 14.3 percent to $36.4 billion, the study says.

Foundations received $31.5 billion in gifts in 2005, up by almost a third over 2004, while gifts of $5 million or more were up almost 40 percent.

Giving in 2005 increased in all regions of the U.S., the study says, with the Northeast posting the highest growth rate, led by Delaware.

Assets were up nationwide as well, with all but three states showing growth.

Giving by corporate foundations grew faster than any other segment, up 16.5 percent to $4 billion in 2005.

Community foundations gave $3.2 billion, up 10 percent, the study says, while giving by independent foundations rose 8 percent to $25.2 billion.

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