Individual Charitable Giving Up in Minnesota; Grantmaking Shows Stability

Source: Minnesota Council on Foundations 10/16/2012

(Oct. 16, 2012) "• The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) today released its Giving in Minnesota, 2012 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 $5.2 billion for the 2010 research year, a modest 2.6-percent increase over 2009.

The 2010 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, 2010, and May 31, 2011.

Individual giving grew 3.4 percent to $3.8 billion and accounted for most of the overall increase. The majority of the state's charitable giving "“ 73 percent in 2010 "“ comes from individuals.

Grantmaking accounted for 27 percent "“ $1.41 billion "“ of total 2010 giving, an increase of less than 1 percent over 2009. The total includes grantmaking by Greater Twin Cities United Way, which was included in the research for the first time to create a more comprehensive picture of charitable giving in Minnesota. Without that addition, total 2010 grantmaking would have declined 4.1 percent from 2009.

"Including Greater Twin Cities United Way and other public charity grantmakers in our research shows more clearly the tremendous impact that all types of grantmakers have in our community," says Bill King, MCF president

Foundation Assets Growing
While grantmaking has not fully recovered from the economic downturn, foundation assets are beginning to rise. Assets grew 3.8 percent to $16.9 billion in 2010, but are still slightly below the pre-recession 2007 level of $17 billion.

"The increase in foundation assets is good news, but it will take continued economic stability for giving levels to catch up to previous highs," says King. "Foundations typically base grantmaking on a one- to three-year rolling average of past asset performance, so 2008's 12-percent drop in foundation asset value continued to negatively impact grantmaking in 2010."

Corporate Grantmakers Lead Giving
The Giving in Minnesota research indicates that corporate foundations and giving programs, which comprise just 9 percent of the 1,467 grantmakers in the state, gave 45 percent of all 2010 grant dollars. Private foundations "“ 85 percent of Minnesota's grantmakers "“ gave 38 percent of grant dollars. Community/public foundations accounted for the remaining 17 percent of giving.

Education Received Largest Share of Grant Dollars
The three subject areas receiving the largest shares of Minnesota's grant dollars were education (27 percent), human services (23 percent) and public affairs/society benefit (16 percent). Education has captured the largest share of Minnesota's grant dollars in all but three years since MCF began conducting Giving in Minnesota studies in 1976.

Funding for arts, culture and humanities rose 20 percent to $129 million, while giving to education, human services, environment/animals and religion was up more modestly "“ between 3 and 6 percent each.

Subject area information is based on analysis of grants of $2,000 or more made by a sample of 100 of Minnesota's top grantmakers. These grants represented about two thirds of the state's philanthropic giving for the year. Overall, grantmaking by the sample increased three percent from 2009 to 2010.

Trends for Geographies, Beneficiaries and Types of Support Continue
In 2010 slightly more than half (51 percent) of dollars given by Minnesota grantmakers went to organizations and programs serving Minnesota. The Twin Cities metropolitan area received 31 percent of the total grant dollars, with Greater Minnesota and Minnesota statewide each receiving 10 percent.

Organizations serving other parts of the country and world received 49 percent of grant dollars.  A majority (sixty seven percent) of corporate grant dollars went out of state, reflecting businesses' goals of distributing support between Minnesota, where they are headquartered, and other parts of the nation and world where they have facilities and customers.

Based on available data, 55 percent of the sample's grants could be coded to a specific beneficiary group. Of those, the largest share of dollars "“ nearly 25 percent "“ went to organizations serving children and youth.

Grantmakers continued to devote the largest share of their giving "“ 62 percent in 2010 "“ to program support. Twenty percent of grant dollars went to general operating support and 9 percent to capital projects.

MCF conducts the Giving in Minnesota research annually to examine long-term trends in charitable giving. For the Giving in Minnesota, 2012 Edition summary and full report, see

About the Minnesota Council on Foundations
The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) works actively to expand and strengthen a vibrant community of diverse grantmakers who individually and collectively advance the common good. MCF members represent three-quarters of all grantmaking in the state, awarding almost $1 billion annually. Members include private family and independent foundations, community and other public foundations, and corporate foundations and giving programs. For more information, visit

Categories: Community & Public Foundations,Corporate Grantmakers,Education,Family Foundations,Grantmaking,Grantseeking,Independent Foundations,Individual Donors,MCF News,MCF Research,News
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