The State of Global Giving by US Foundations: 2011-2015

Cover Art from State of Global Giving by US Foundations 2011-2015 report

The Council on Foundations and Foundation Center analyzed how US foundations supported international communities, non-profits, and programs between 2011 and 2015 for our report, The State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations: 2011-2015.

In addition to a detailed analysis of trends by issue area, geographic region, population group, and donor strategy, this analysis also relates these trends to key events and developments, including the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the spread of Ebola in West Africa, and the increasing legal restrictions faced by civil society in countries around the world.

Key Report Findings

  • International giving by U.S. foundations reached an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015, up by 306% from $2.1 billion in 2002.
  • Just 12% of international grant dollars from U.S. foundations went directly to organizations based in the country where programs were implemented. The remaining 88% was channeled through organizations based elsewhere.
  • The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation accounted for 51% of global giving by U.S. foundations from 2011-2015, with $6.5 billion going to sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa benefited from the largest share of global grantmaking by U.S. foundations, accounting for 25% of international grant dollars from 2011 to 2015.
  • Grants focused on climate change represented just 2% of global grantmaking by U.S. foundations.
  • Global giving by U.S. foundations for reproductive health care increased nearly threefold in the five years after the global gag rule, a U.S. rule forbidding the use of federal money to fund organizations that provide abortions or information on them, was reversed.

Past International Grantmaking Reports 

This report is the latest in a decades-long collaboration between Foundation Center and Council on Foundations to regularly analyze trends in international grantmaking by U.S. foundations and the tenth jointly published analysis since our collaboration began in 1997. You can see the full collection of reports we’ve co-published about international grantmaking by US foundations since 1997 on IssueLab.

Download the Report