Thanks to a healthy stock market, an increase in the number of new foundations and in “pass-through” foundations by younger donors, and the formation of operating foundations by pharmaceutical firms, giving by the 71,000 grantmaking foundations in the U.S. grew in 2006, up 11.7 percent, according to a new report by the Foundation Center.
But foundations are not sharing as much of their wealth or spending or investing it as effectively as they could.
Foundations continue to fight proposals for an increase, from 5 percent currently, in the share of their assets they are required to payout in grants and overhead.
And as a recent report from the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy concludes, foundations are falling woefully short in the level of the critical operating support they provide to nonprofits.
The Foundation Center says the U.S. is experiencing a “golden age of philanthropy.”
While foundations may indeed be enjoying a golden age, too many of them are hoarding their gold.
[Excerpt of an article by Todd Cohen, Philanthropy Journal]