Ohio grantmakers expect more proposals

The sagging economy will spur rising demand for grants in 2008, a new study of Ohio grantmakers says.

Almost six in 10 grantmakers expect to see more grant requests this year, says the report says the report, sponsored by the Ohio Grantmakers Forum and based on data from a January survey.

“Grantmaking Outlook 2008” is based on data from 121 grantmakers from throughout Ohio that made roughly half the grants in the state in 2007.

About 45 percent of groups surveyed say their grant budgets will remain level, despite the expected increase in requests, while another 45 percent say they anticipate their foundations’ available grant money would show growth of 1 percent to 10 percent.

“The outlook for this year is cautionary,” George E. Espy, president of the Ohio Grantmakers Forum, says in a statement. “Like everyone else, Ohio’s foundations are affected by the ups and downs of the state’s economy.”

Predictions of more grant applications stem in part from last year’s higher numbers, the report says, with half those surveyed saying they received more grant requests than usual in 2007.

While 44 percent say the size of their applicant pool stayed level, most foundations expect the numbers only will increase because of the worsening economy and growing budget constraints.

Those planning to boost their grant budgets this year say the decision was mostly a result of asset growth, the report says, with six in 10 of the Ohio foundations surveyed saying their assets grew in 2007 through a combination of investment returns, company profits or gifts received.

Only about one in four report a decrease in asset pools, while 14 percent say their holdings remained level.

Ohio foundations plan to offer a wide range of support this year, the study says.

Project support is a priority for 94 percent of those surveyed, while about six in 10 says they would provide operating support or capital support, and more than half planning to offer challenge grants.

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