Foundations aid struggling families

As the economy continues to falter, nearly all U.S. foundations are working in some way to help the families hardest hit, a new study says.

Almost nine in 10 foundations support grantmaking that either directly or indirectly aids struggling families, says the Council on Foundations, based on a survey of its 320 member funders.

Almost one in three foundations has increased its funding in this area this year, and about four in 10 expect another increase next year.

And one in 20 funders added this area to its grantmaking mix this year.

About 15 percent say they are funding efforts directly related to the subprime-mortgage crisis, the study says, and 8 percent expect to increase that assistance next year.

With worries about the stock market looming, more than half of foundations overall, and two-thirds of corporate and independent foundations, say future market declines will not affect their grantmaking.

However, more than half of community foundations expect to give less next year, the report says, and 46 percent anticipate maintaining current giving levels.

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