Nonprofit organizations and communities in need are benefiting from philanthropic giving trends, but whether these trends will persist is an open question.
Last week, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy released four new studies involving 1,121 foundations in its Philanthropic Landscape series on key foundation giving trends.
One study showed that the biggest U.S. foundations gave $10 billion in grants to benefit underserved communities.
The share of foundation grant dollars given to benefit the poor, the elderly, women and other marginalized groups increased to 42%, up from the 40% average in 2008–2010.
However, a second report noted that foundation funding aimed at social justice—engaging disenfranchised groups in addressing their problems—declined to 12% of total grant dollars in 2011. Foundations gave $2.9 billion for that purpose.
The share of grant dollars reported as core support leapt from 16% in 2008–2010 to 24% in 2011. NCRP said in a statement that this was the first time it had documented such a large increase in the proportion of grant dollars classified as general operating support.