Skip directly to page content.
Foundation Center
Home Profile Search Site Map Ask Us Donate Now
About Us Locations Newsletters Press Room PND
Knowledge to build on.  
Press Room

Press Releases
- 2014
- 2013
- 2012
- 2011
- 2010
- 2009
- 2008

Media Coverage
- 2014
- 2013
- 2012
- 2011
- 2010
- 2009
- 2008

Meet Our Experts

About the Foundation Center   (print version)

Research Tools
- FAQs
- Grant and Grantmaker Statistics
- Top Funders
- Fact Finder
- Foundations Today Tutorial

  Press Release


Maggie Morth
Communications Manager
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2415

Steven Lawrence
Senior Director of Research
The Foundation Center
(212) 807-2410

Family Foundations Prioritize Giving for the Economically Disadvantaged, New Foundation Center Report Finds

New York, NY — January 29, 2009. Giving by America's family foundations reached over $18 billion in 2007, a 13 percent increase from the previous year, according to the Foundation Center's new report, Key Facts on Family Foundations (2009 Edition). Among a subset of the largest family foundations, 30 percent of their giving provided a specific benefit for the economically disadvantaged.

"Family foundations provide much-needed resources in the best of times," said Steven Lawrence, the Center's senior director of research. "The current economic environment will make that support even more critical, especially for those in greatest need."

Among other key findings in the report:

  • Family foundations accounted for the bulk of giving by independent foundations overall (56 percent).
  • One-third of all family foundations have been established in the 2000s.
  • Education was the top funding priority of family foundations located in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, while health accounted for the biggest share among Western family foundations, largely due to the Seattle, WA-based Gates Foundation.

Key Facts on Family Foundations identified 40,200 independent foundations with measurable donor or donor-family involvement. The fact sheet examines giving by recipient type, type of support, population group served, and geographic location. It also details differences in the size of the boards and staff of family foundations and lists the top 25 family foundations by giving. Key Facts on Family Foundations can be downloaded at no charge from the Gain Knowledge area of the Foundation Center's web site. The report will also be available at the Council on Foundations' Family Philanthropy Conference, February 1-3 in Indianapolis, IN.

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 philanthropy at every level. The Center's web site receives more than 57,000 visits each day, and thousands of people gain access to free resources in its five regional library/learning centers and its network of 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 or call (212) 620-4230.

Return to Press Releases
© Foundation Center
All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy