Minnesota funders’ optimism ebbs

As the recession deepened from last fall to this spring, Minnesota foundations’ outlook about their funding capabilities darkened as well, a new report says.

In November 2008, only about four in 10 Minnesota funders expected they would decrease giving in 2009, but by March of this year, that number had risen to 52 percent, says the report from the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

And the share of foundation hoping to hold funding levels steady fell to 31 percent from 41 percent over the same period.

However, Minnesota foundations are still more optimistic than the nation’s other foundations, more than six in 10 of which expect giving to fall this year.

“While we in Minnesota are more hopeful that decreases in grantmaking will not be as steep as they will be for funders elsewhere, the change in what Minnesota funders are anticipating for the rest of this year presents challenges,” Bill King, president of the council, says in a statement.

Despite their funding difficulties, more than eight in 10 Minnesota foundations are supporting families in need, lower-income populations, human services or economic-development efforts.

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