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Georgia funders’ pre-recession giving grew

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In the five years leading up to the economic doldrums, Georgia foundations posted strong giving and asset increases, a new study says.

Total giving for the 1,470 foundations in the state in 2007 grew 23 percent to over $830 million from $675 million in 2002, says the report from the Foundation Center.

Assets spiked 58 percent over the same five-year period to reach a collective $13.3 billion, and gifts to foundations more than tripled, topping the $1 billion mark for the first time.

The largest share of grant dollars in 2007, almost one in four, were awarded to education groups, followed by health organizations, which received just over two in 10 grant dollars.

More than half the grant money awarded in 2007 funded capital projects, while about three in 10 supported programs.

The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, awarded $95.3 million in grants in 2007, more than any other Georgia funder, and topped the list of assets with $2.7 billion.

The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, came in second in both categories, awarding $74.5 million in grants off $771.7 million in assets.

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