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Alabama funders’ giving trails asset growth

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Leadership team for the Yes We Can! education initiative <br> of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham

Leadership team for the Yes We Can! education initiative
of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham

Though the assets of Alabama foundations went up nearly 40 percent between 2001 and 2006, their grantmaking grew by only 13 percent in the same period, a new study says.

In 2006, the state was home to 686 independent, corporate, community and operating foundations, an increase of 13 percent since 2001, says the study by the Foundation Center.

With combined assets of $2.4 billion, Alabama grantmakers gave away $145 million in the same year.

Most of those institutions are small, with almost two in three reporting less than $1 million in assets, the study says, and more than half awarding less than $50,000 in grants in 2006.

Alabama foundations also are young, with nearly half established after 1995, and 11 percent founded in 1997.

With combined gifts of $53.7 million, the state’s top 10 institutional givers accounted for more than one-third of Alabama’s total grantmaking in 2006.

Those 10 foundations hold $956 million of the state’s grantmaking assets, or 40 percent of the total, the report says.

The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham gave more than any other Alabama foundation in 2006, with $13.6 million in grants, followed by the Alabama Power Foundation, with $10.4 million in grants, and the Daniel Foundation of Alabama, with $5.7 million.

Education and human services were the most popular fields of interest among Alabama grantmakers, listed as focus areas by 73 percent and 51 percent of foundations, respectively. Low on the list were environment and medical research, hovering around 5 percent.

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