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Charlotte foundation giving grows

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — North Carolina foundations granted over $1 billion for the first time in fiscal 2006, with grantmakers in Mecklenberg County making nearly 40 percent of those grants and grantmakers in Cabarrus County making 1.7 percent, a new report says.

In fiscal 2006, says the report by NCGives, Mecklenburg County was home to 144 foundations that controlled nearly $5.1 billion in assets, or nearly 35 percent of all foundation assets in the state, and made $420.2 million in grants.

Cabarrus County was home to nine foundations that had $368.4 million in assets and made nearly $18 million in grants.

From 1997 to 2006, the number of foundations in the state tripled to 3,031 from 997, while in 2006 alone, foundations’ total assets grew nearly 10 percent to nearly $14.6 billion, according to the report, which was prepared by Anita Gunn-Shirley, assistant director of foundation relations at Duke University Medical Center in Durham.

And in 2006, for the first time, social and human services received the biggest share of foundation grants, 37 percent, eclipsing education, which received 32 percent, followed by health care, with 14 percent.

Mecklenburg County is home to four of North Carolina’s 10 largest foundations.

The Duke Endowment, with $2.9 billion in assets, is the largest in the state, followed by Foundation for the Carolinas, with $601.3 million, which ranks third; C.D. Spangler Foundation, $447.2 million, ranking seventh; and The Leon Levine Foundation, $200.6 million, ranking 10th.

The Cannon Foundation in Concord has $186.3 million in assets and is the state’s 11th-largest foundation.

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