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  Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

CONTACT:
Maggie Morth
Communications Manager
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2415
mor@foundationcenter.org

Loren Renz
Senior Researcher for Special Projects
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-3601
lr@foundationcenter.org

Foundation Giving Priorities Shift in Gulf Coast Hurricane Response, New Foundation Center Report Finds

Support for Recovery Continues; Greater Emphasis
on Economic and Community Development

New York, NY — August 27, 2009. Private and community foundations awarded an additional $125 million in grant support for Gulf Coast hurricane recovery and rebuilding efforts between January 2007 and mid-2009, according to Giving in the Aftermath of the 2005 Gulf Coast Hurricanes: Profile of the Ongoing Foundation and Corporate Response (2007-2009), an update of the Center's earlier study. Since 2005, the Center has tracked nearly $1.3 billion in grants, program-related investments, and corporate in-kind gifts from foundations, corporations, and other institutional donors in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Released in connection with the fourth anniversary of the disaster, the report reveals shifts in the giving priorities of 112 independent, corporate, and community foundations that provided new or ongoing support in the January 2007 to mid-2009 period. Economic and community development captured the largest share of support dollars in this period (24 percent), whereas in the immediate aftermath the largest share was committed to human services relief efforts. This stronger emphasis on development reflects a shift in the focus of service providers and grantmakers from immediate relief to recovery and rebuilding. The leading supporter of economic development, especially in 2008 and 2009, was the Ford Foundation.

The new report, which can be downloaded for free, is among the many resources available at the "Focus on Gulf Coast Hurricane Relief" area of the Center's web site, a central information portal featuring interactive maps, data and research, links to foundation-sponsored reports, and related news from the Center's Philanthropy News Digest (PND). The interactive maps and charts enable visitors to explore more than 4,400 of the grants awarded for hurricane relief and recovery, totaling over $850 million. These tools illustrate the geographic areas and types of services and organizations that received this support.

Also featured at the portal are a new PND "Newsmaker" interview with Albert Ruesga, president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation, about philanthropy's role in the post-Katrina recovery effort in New Orleans, and two new "Philanthropy Chat" podcasts with representatives of regional foundations who discuss "Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation Four Years After Katrina" and "Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation's Work in Post-Katrina Mississippi."

About the Foundation Center
Established in 1956 and today supported by close to 600 foundations, the Foundation Center is the nation's leading authority on philanthropy, connecting nonprofits and the grantmakers supporting them to tools they can use and information they can trust. The Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit the Center's web site each day and are served in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of more than 400 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions in every U.S. state and beyond. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org or call (212) 620-4230.

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