Foundations step up crisis funding

Since the beginning of the year, U.S. grantmakers have increased their efforts to inject money into the ailing nonprofit sector and the people it serves, a new report says.

Since January, crisis-related grants and program-related investments have surged to a total of $322 million from $117 million, says the report from the Foundation

Grants range from $750 to $50 million, with a median value of $20,000, while program-related investments range from $250,000 to $50 million.

The number of funders providing crisis-related assistance grew to 139 in July from 50 in January.

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has awarded 11 crisis-related grants totaling $71 million, more than any other funder, followed by the Ford Foundation with 23 grants totaling $65.6 million.

Open Society Institute awarded the largest single grant of $50 million, which accounts for 16 percent of total grant dollars awarded.

Over half of all crisis-related grants dollars were directed toward housing and shelter, including foreclosure prevention, and most program-related investments supported foreclosure prevention.

However, the relative share of grant dollars benefiting housing and shelter declined to 51 percent in July from 57 percent at the
beginning of the year.

Emergency assistance, including food, garnered almost one in four grant dollars by July, up from one in 10 dollars in January.

About 82 percent of assistance was in the form of program funding, 4 percent was given for each capital support and operating support, and about 16 percent were awarded on a challenge basis.

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