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More Than Grantmaking: A First Look at Foundations’ Direct Charitable Activities (2007)

Report
November 2007
Foundation Center

The report, “More Than Grantmaking: A First Look at Foundations’ Direct Charitable Activities,” by the Foundation Center, includes interviews with 684 independent and family foundations and is based on the results of a 2007 survey of more than 900 of the nation’s 3,000 largest foundations in terms of total giving.

While the definition of direct charitable activities is broad, the survey found the three most prevalent types to be: holding conferences and other events, providing training and other assistance to grant recipients, and supporting the service of foundation staff members on the advisory boards of other charities or public commissions.

The report also revealed that six out of 10 independent and family foundations involved in direct charitable activities increased such programmes over the past five years, and of all grant-makers, community foundations were the most likely to cite increases in direct charitable activities over the past five years, with 75% saying they had done so.

Foundations with greater assets were found to be the most likely to engage in direct charitable activities.

The report’s author, Loren Renz, said that the activities represented an increasingly hands-on approach by foundations and that they explain in part their need for professional staff.

This report is tagged under:

  • Family philanthropy
  • Philanthropy stats & trends
  • Trusts & foundations