Findings Friday | New infographic highlights key data in recent foundation funding trends

October 11, 2013
| by Editor |

In a beautifully designed infographic, the Foundation Center offers an accessible 2013 overview of foundation facts and figures.

The Foundation Center’s bluntly titled "Key Foundation Facts on U.S. Foundations" conveys original research findings from more than half of all active foundations. At the highest level―as of 2011―these foundations represent $662 billion dollars in assets and $49 billion in giving. Below are a few major takeaways.


  • Foundations provided $49 billion (16%) of the $303.1 billion of private giving in 2011.
  • Foundation giving has increased steadily over the last decade with exception to 2009 and 2010 when giving levels dipped slightly.
  • Amid ongoing economic woes worldwide, US foundations expect to continue their modest growth through 2012.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is by far the largest foundation, both by size ($34.6 billion in assets) and giving ($3.2 billion).
  • 1% of grantees received about half of all foundation giving.

excerpt from the Foundation Center's "Key Foundation Facts" infographic.


  • Most funds (55%) are dedicated to organizational programming.
  • Domestically, education, arts and culture, health, and human services receive the most funding.
  • Health-related grants dominate international giving.
  • Most grants target economically disadvantaged communities (35%) and children (22%).

excerpt from the Foundation Center's "Key Foundation Facts" infographic.


  • Foundations tend to support local initiatives, though a focus on international issues has grown as of late.
  • The southern US disproportionately receives 33% of domestic grants.
  • Nearly 70% of international foundation grants go to Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Pacific.

View the Foundation Center’s full infographic.

Tommy Pearce is Communications Coordinator at the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.

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