The Center's research database includes
individual grant records of $10,000 or more awarded by a diverse set of larger independent,
corporate, and community foundations. These unique grant
records, which are updated annually and coded according to the Center's Grants
Classification System and the National Taxonomy
of Exempt Entities, provide the basis for detailed investigations
of giving patterns by subject area, type of recipient, geographic
location, type of support, and population group.
Grants Sampling Information
The following table presents information on the grants sample
for all years available for customized statistical searching.
Currently, the FC Stats archive includes annual summary
data tables beginning with 1998. If you are interested in
FC Stats tables from earlier years or other customized
searches click on About FC Stats.
Dollars (in thousands)
Scope and Limitations of Grants
Since 1990, the Foundation Center's
grants database has included all grants of $10,000 or more awarded
by approximately 1,000 of the largest private and community
foundations, including the top 800 ranked by annual giving
and 200 smaller foundations. These foundations represent
less than 3 percent of the total number of all active foundations,
yet their giving has consistently accounted for about half of the total grant dollars awarded by all U.S.
foundations each year.
The set includes grants awarded
by U.S. foundations to U.S.-based and overseas recipients.
Grant amounts reported represent, whenever possible, new
authorizations or appropriations, whether paid in a single
year or in installments.
The grants file is not intended
to provide a comprehensive record of all private and community
foundation grantmaking activities. Excluded from the sample
are: grants less than $10,000; grants made directly to individuals;
expenditures for foundation-administered projects; community
foundation grants from restricted or donor-designated funds;
and grants awarded by a private or community foundation
to another U.S. foundation (excluded to avoid double counting
of grant dollars).
Except for community foundation
grants, the Center's research database does not include
grants awarded by public charities and other nonprofits
not classified as private foundations by the IRS. Similarly,
our file includes the giving of a number of company-sponsored
foundations, but it does not contain grants awarded through
corporate giving programs.
Sources of Grant Information
Many foundations report their grants directly to the Foundation
Center through electronic files, grant reporting forms,
newsletters, annual reports, or grants lists. Those foundations
reporting electronically or using the Center's grant reporting
form generally provide the most complete and current data
on the location, scope, duration, purpose, and beneficiaries
of the grant project. Information provided in annual reports
and other foundation publications is also very specific.
For the remaining foundations, grants are researched from
the information returns that all foundations must file with
the Internal Revenue Service (Form 990-PF). Grant descriptions
taken from these returns are typically brief, often with
little information beyond the name of the recipient organization,
recipient location, and the dollar value of the grant. Information
on type of support and beneficiaries is also frequently