A new report released today by the Council on Foundations and Foundation Center reveals that global giving by U.S. foundations increased by 29% from 2011 to 2015, reaching an all-time high of $9.3 billion in 2015. With mounting challenges that transcend national boundaries, it’s increasingly important to understand how funds are being allocated to tackle global issues like climate change and the spread of preventable diseases.
The State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations is the latest report in a decades-long collaboration between the two organizations and aims to help funders and civil society organizations better navigate the giving landscape as they work to effect change around the world.
Key findings from this trends analysis include:
- 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.
- Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation accounted for 51% of global giving by U.S. foundations from 2011 to 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.
“U.S. foundations are making a tremendous impact in communities all over the world. By tracking trends in support for global programs, we play a valuable role in supporting and strengthening the sector’s ability to continue to promote the common good globally” said Gene Cochrane, interim president and CEO of the Council on Foundations.
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.
“Equipping social sector leaders with the knowledge they need to be more effective is at the core of Foundation Center’s mission,” said Bradford K. Smith, president of Foundation Center. “This data will help funders and civil society organizations identify gaps, improve approaches, and better align strategies as they work to solve some of our most critical global problems.”
Download a free copy of The State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations here.
About the Council on Foundations
An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.
About Foundation Center
Established in 1956, Foundation Center is the leading source of information about philanthropy worldwide. Through data, analysis, and training, it connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to succeed. Foundation Center maintains the most comprehensive database on U.S. and, increasingly, global grantmakers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. Thousands of people visit Foundation Center's website each day and are served in its five regional hubs and its network of more than 400 funding information centers located in public libraries, community foundations, and educational institutions nationwide and around the world. For more information, please visit foundationcenter.org call (212) 620-4230, or tweet us at @fdncenter.