Assets down at Georgia foundations

PJ staff report

Foundations based in Georgia suffered double-digit declines in assets and gifts received in 2008 but gave only 1.6 percent less than the previous year, a new report says.

Georgia foundations saw their assets fall 18.2 percent in 2008 from 2007, says Key Facts on Georgia Foundations, a report by the Foundation Center.

The decline in assets compared to a 17.2 percent drop for foundation assets nationally.

Gifts received by foundations in the state fell 21.8 percent.

Still, despite their losses in assets and gifts received, total giving by Georgia foundations fell only 1.6 percent from the previous year.

And collective giving by the top 10 foundations in the state grew to $411 million in 2008 from $406 million in 2007.

The Georgia foundation community “has made a great effort to overcome the impact of the economic crisis on their endowments, thereby lessening its effects on the nonprofits that rely on their crucial support,” Val Porter, director of the regional office in Atlanta for the Foundation Center, says in a statement.

Georgia was home to 1,501 independent, corporate, community and operating foundations that held total assets over $10.8 billion and awarded over $800 million in grants.

Over a third of all grant dollars were awarded in the field of health, a share that grew 13.3 percent over the previous year.

Education received the second-highest total of grant dollars, 19.4 percent.

The share of grant dollars fell 4.7 percent for human services and 5.7 percent for public affairs/society benefit.

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