Giving by U.S. Family Foundations Recovering Slowly

America’s family foundations contributed more than $20 billion in 2010 to organizations and people working for the public good, but total giving did not reach its pre-recession peak of $21 billion in 2008. According to the Foundation Center’s latest edition of Key Facts on Family Foundations, the 1.1 percent increase in family foundation giving between 2009 and 2010 marks a reversal of the previous year’s 3.4 percent decline.

Among other key findings in the report:

  • Family foundations account for the majority of giving by independent foundations overall (63 percent in 2010).
  • One-third of all family foundations were established in the 2000s.
  • Education is the top funding priority of family foundations located in the Northeast, Midwest and South, while health accounts for the biggest share among Western family foundations, largely due to the Seattle-based Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key Facts on Family Foundations identifies 38,671 independent foundations with measurable donor or donor-family involvement. The fact sheet examines giving by issue area, type of support, population group served, and geographic location. It also details differences in the size of the boards of family foundations.

Key Facts on Family Foundations is available for download on the Foundation Center’s website.