L.A. funders predict lower giving

Most foundations in the Los Angeles area are expecting a drop in giving this year, followed by another down year in 2010, a new study says.

A majority of the 24 foundations surveyed expect giving to decline this year, with the drop averaging 24 percent among those expecting a decrease, says the survey conducted by the Center on Philanthropy and Public Policy at the University of Southern California.

Six foundations, however, expect to see an increase in giving, and those positive expectations, which are based on planned efforts or new gifts received, point to a net gain in giving of four percent overall for 2009.

Next year likely will be even tougher, with giving expected to drop 13 percent in 2010, the study says, and foundations remain uncertain about giving in 2011 and beyond.

“There still remains much uncertainty about what the future holds,” James M. Ferris, director of the center, says in a statement. “There isn’t much optimism that asset levels will be able to rebound in the near future.”

Responding funders account for about 40 percent Los Angeles foundation assets, and make up almost half of giving.

Overall, Los Angeles is home to more than 2,400 foundations, whose collective assets total almost $40 billion and whose combined giving in 2007 was almost $2 billion.

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