International giving increasing

U.S. charitable foundations gave money away to international causes at record levels in 2007, and a new report by New York-based Foundation Center says their contributions are likely to go up again this year.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation accounted for more than half the increase in foundation giving to international causes between 2002 and 2006. But excluding the Seattle-based foundation from the sample, international charity still grew faster than all foundation giving during the period of the study.

"The study will show that it's not just about the Gates Foundation ... but I would be the last person to say Gates is not a huge factor," Rob Buchanan, managing director of international programs for the Council on Foundations, said.

Buchanan said older family foundations created in the 1940s or 50s were largely focused on giving back to the community where the wealth was generated. Those foundations are now being run by a generation that has more global connections.


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