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New Report Examines Giving By U.S. Foundations

“Giving in the United States by private and community foundations reached an estimated $50.9 billion in 2012, growing just ahead of inflation, a report released on Tuesday by the Foundation Center showed,” Reuters reports. “In 2011 the country’s 81,777 foundations held $622 billion in assets and distributed $49 billion, just $1.9 billion below 2012’s estimate, according to the Foundation Center’s annual research study,” the news service notes. “The report shows that 35 percent of all grant dollars awarded in 2011 by the nation’s largest foundations were specifically intended to benefit the economically disadvantaged,” according to Reuters, which adds, “It also shows that health and education were the top priorities of the country’s largest foundations, accounting for almost half of all grant dollars.”

“The health sector benefited the most from foundation giving, receiving $6.8 billion, or 28 percent, of the $24.5 billion awarded in grants in 2011,” the news service continues, noting, “Education came in second, receiving $5 billion, arts and culture received $3.5 billion, tying with human services which drew $3.5 billion.” According to Reuters, “[i]n 2011, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made the single largest grant of $967 million over five years to the [GAVI Alliance], according to the Foundation Center.” The news service adds, “The Gates Foundation, the largest in the country with $34.6 billion in assets, was the biggest donor in 2011 giving $3.2 billion. It has also been the top international funder since 2004” (Badawy, 10/1).