Pre-recession giving strong in Minnesota

Charitable giving in Minnesota was strong in the year before the recession, with individuals, foundations and corporations giving a total of $5.5 billion to charity in 2007, a new study says.

That’s an overall increase of 2.2 percent over 2006, with individual giving holding steady while foundation and corporate giving grew 10.1 percent, says the report from the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Education organizations received about 27 percent of all 2007 foundation grant dollars, while human-services groups took in 24 percent.

For the decade of 1997 to 2007, total giving increased 67 percent, while the number of new foundations was up almost 66 percent.

And while the assets of Minnesota grantmakers totaled $18.8 billion in 2007, up from $17.6 the previous year, foundation assets took a major hit during the recession.

“Because foundations typically base their future grant levels on a one-to three-year average of past asset performance, we may not see the effect of these asset declines reflected in grant levels for another year or two,” Bill King, president of the council, says in a statement.

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