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Foundations continue Katrina support

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Four years after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita devastated the Gulf Coast of the U.S., the nation’s foundations continue giving, but have shifted their priorities for the region, a new report says.

Total giving since August of 2005 reached almost $1.3 billion as of the end of July 2009, says the report from the Foundation Center.

Most of that was given in the two years following the storms, but foundation support from 2007 to 2009 totaled $133 million.

About $125 million of that was in cash, with another $8 million in loans and program-related investments.

While donations in the early years heavily favored human services, community-development and economic-development efforts garnered almost a quarter of all giving over the past two years, edging out human services, which received almost two in 10 grant dollars.

Education received 18 percent of funding, with the majority of that directed toward higher education.

Over the past two years, the Ford Foundation awarded a total of almost $28 million in grants to the region, more than any other funder, followed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which awarded $16 million in grants.

Almost half the grants were awarded for the benefit of economically-disadvantaged residents, while racial and ethic minorities received more than a third of funding.

Oxfam America was the largest single grant recipient from 2007 to 2009, receiving a total of $7.2 million, followed by Children’s Defense Fund with $6.2 million and Xavier University, which received $5.9 million.

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