Israel was the beneficiary of more international grants (825) and grant dollars ($106.4million) awarded to U.S. based international programs than any other country in the world.
With total estimated U.S. foundation giving for international purposes a record $5.4 billion in 2007, and 2008 giving likely to top that record, the prospects for international giving in the near term are also less pessimistic than current market conditions might suggest.
“The single most important message from this study is that international grantmaking is here to stay,” says Foundation Center President Bradford K. Smith. “More U.S. foundations are spending more resources on international problems, challenges, and opportunities than at any time in history.”
International Grantmaking IV examines the current state of foundation giving for overseas recipients and U.S.-based international programs and its outlook for the future. Among the major findings detailed in the report:
- International giving grew faster than overall giving between 2002 and 2007 — after inflation, international support rose by more than 50 percent, compared to a 22.3 percent rise in total giving.
- The Gates Foundation accounted for more than half of the increase in funding between 2002 and 2006.
- Excluding the Gates Foundation, international giving still grew faster than overall giving, benefiting from increased funding by new and newly large foundations, higher levels of giving by well-established international funders with growing endowments, and the foundation response to natural and humanitarian disasters around the world.
- Region-specific grants to U.S.-based recipients mainly targeted programs focused on Sub-Saharan Africa, while overseas funding primarily benefited global programs and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Giving related to health issues captured the largest share of international grant dollars, while funding for international development showed the most growth from 2002 to 2006.
- Excluding Gates, the greatest share of international grant dollars went for international development, followed by the environment and health.
“In a globalized world, philanthropy is rapidly becoming global as well, and this new report highlights U.S. foundations’ engagement in seeking solutions to global challenges like poverty, climate change, and disease,” said Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.
This latest update of the Foundation Center’s benchmark series on international funding examines changes in grantmakers’ strategies and practices and the outlook for giving based on a 2008 survey and interviews with leading funders. It also documents trends in giving through 2006 based on actual grants awarded by over 1,000 of the largest U.S. foundations.