Connecticut funders’ giving grows

PJ staff report

Grantmakers in Connecticut distributed over $902.7 million in 2008, up 22 percent from 2006, a new report says.

The state had 2,378 active foundations in 2008, up 23 percent from two years earlier, and those foundations held over $8.8 billion in assets, down 1 percent, says the report, 2010 Connecticut Grantmaking Highlights, published by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.

While foundation assets fell 1 percent over the two-year period, grantmaking not only did not decline but grew significantly because foundations often base their charitable distribution on an average for the previous three to five years, Nancy Roberts, president of the council, says in a statement.

“The start of the economic downturn in late 2008 had a significant impact on foundation activity that will be felt for years to come,” she says.

A number of bank charitable trusts that became private foundations as a result of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 represent a big share of new foundations.

From 1999 to 2008, 831 new foundations were established in the state, or 35 percent of the total, and they account for 26 percent of total foundation assets and 27 percent of grants paid in 2008.

Of the total, 1,105 foundations, or 43 percent, granted less than $25,000 each, representing roughly 1 percent of grants paid and 4.2 percent of assets held, and 137 foundations, or 5.7 percent, distributed more than $1 million in grants, accounting or roughly 75 percent of grants paid and 61 percent of assets held.

Fairfield County is home to 991 foundations, or 42 percent of the total, while Hartford County is home to 919, or 39 percent of the total.

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