NEW YORK May 8 U.S. private foundations with
less than $50 million in assets have since 2007 taken in as much
new capital as they gave out, despite a sluggish economy that
kept total assets below pre-financial crisis levels, according
to a report released on Tuesday.
From the end of 2007 to the end of 2011, philanthropists
contributed an average of 104 percent of the amounts granted,
Foundation Source, a support services provider for private
"We've seen for many years how our clients replenish their
assets, but had not realized how well their contributions held
up through the economic downturn," said Andrew Bangser, Chief
Financial Officer of Foundation Source.
Even as the U.S. economy recovers slowly from the worst
crisis since the Great Depression, the vast majority of private
foundations with less than $50 million are giving out more than
twice the 5 percent minimum required by the U.S. internal
revenue service. Yet their total assets were still down almost 9
percent at the end of 2011 compared with pre-recession levels,
Connecticut-based Foundation Source said.
"The data indicates that smaller foundations contribute more
than larger foundations on a percentage basis," Bangser said.
Small private foundations account for 98 percent of the
80,000 private institutions in the United States, according to
Foundation Source, which has 1000 clients.
These foundations are operated or controlled by individuals
and families still in their earning years, Bangser said.
The data for the study was collected by looking at 519
private foundations with assets of less than $50 million. U.S.
foundations, excluding not-for profit, grant between $40 billion
to $50 billion every year, Bangser added.