MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. (Dec. 2, 2010) ― The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) today released its Giving in Minnesota, 2010 Edition research report, the most comprehensive analysis of charitable giving in the state. The report shows giving by individuals, foundations and corporate giving programs totaled $5.4 billion for the 2008 research year, a decrease of 5 percent from 2007.
The 2008 research year, the most recent time period for which complete data are available, includes financial information from foundations and corporate giving programs with fiscal years ending between June 1, 2008, and May 31, 2009 – the height of the recession.
“This decrease in overall charitable giving in Minnesota reverses a long-term trend of slight increases or at least flat giving from year to year,“ says Bill King, MCF president. “But, we knew a drop was inevitable, given the steep recession and slow economic recovery.”
Foundation and Corporate Giving Grew Slightly
While charitable giving by individuals declined, foundation and corporate giving did grow slightly in 2008.
Individual donations accounted for 74 percent – or $4.02 billion – of all charitable giving in Minnesota in 2008. Reflecting the dramatic downturn in the economy, this is a 7.7 percent decrease from $4.4 billion in 2007. Foundation and corporate grantmaking accounted for 26 percent – or $1.42 billion – of charitable giving in Minnesota in 2008, an increase of 3.6 percent from $1.37 billion in 2007.
This increase was driven by corporate foundations and giving programs, who made up just 9 percent of the 1,467 grantmakers in the state, but accounted for 47 percent of all grant dollars.
In 2008, corporate grantmakers increased their grantmaking by 14 percent to $669 million. Private foundations, which made up 85 percent of grantmakers and gave 40 percent of all grant dollars, decreased their 2008 grantmaking by 5.3 percent. Giving by community/public foundations, which were 6 percent of grantmakers, remained flat and accounted for 13 percent of total grant dollars paid.
Foundations’ Assets Decline Dramatically
The slight growth in grantmaking occurred despite an 11.5 percent drop in foundation assets to $17.30 billion. This was the largest single-year asset decline since 1994. The overall asset decline would have been much steeper in 2008 – 22.4 percent – if not for the first-time addition of the $2.12 billion in assets of the newly established Margaret A. Cargill Foundation.
“This decline in assets mirrors the downturn in the stock market during this time period,” King remarks. “However, because most grantmakers base their giving levels on an average of asset values over multiple years, the immediate impact to nonprofit giving was softened. For the same reason, though, the tumble of assets in 2008 may negatively affect grantmaking in succeeding years.”
Human Services Giving Surpasses Education
Analysis of giving by 100 of the largest grantmakers in the state – which represented 7 percent of all grantmakers in Minnesota and 82 percent of all grant dollars paid – revealed that giving to human services grew 8 percent. This increase led human services to displace education giving as the subject area receiving the largest share of overall grant dollars, representing only the third time since 1976 that education was not number one.
“Grantmakers told us they planned to step up support for nonprofits focused on basic needs for the growing numbers of people in distress during the economic downturn. This is reflected in their increased giving to human service areas,” explains King.
While increases in grantmaking are encouraging, King cautions, “Our state is facing some very tough choices as lawmakers deal with an unprecedented budget crisis. Although charitable giving tops $5 billion in our state, it alone cannot solve the growing needs of our fellow Minnesotans.”
MCF conducts the Giving in Minnesota research annually to examine long-term trends in charitable giving. For the Giving in Minnesota, 2010 Edition summary and complete report, see www.mcf.org/gim.
In early January, MCF will release its 2011 Outlook Report. This research will describe funders’ expectations for grantmaking in the coming year.
About the Minnesota Council on Foundations
The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF), a regional association of grantmakers, works actively to strengthen and expand philanthropy. MCF members represent three-quarters of all grantmaking in the state, awarding more than $900 million to nonprofits annually. Members include family and private independent foundations, community and other public foundations, and corporate foundations and giving programs. For more information, visit www.mcf.org.