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Southern Trends: 50 Years of Philanthropy in the Southeast Region

November 13, 2019

Southeastern Council of Foundations (SECF) partnered with Candid to develop key findings that highlight data and trends on philanthropy in the South. This edition of the Trends Report captures the 50-year history of SECF, focused on the ways Southern philanthropy has changed since its founding in 1969. The data presented here tells a powerful story. In the last five decades, Southern philanthropy has grown significantly by every measure.A region where giving was once dominated by family foundations is now host to a diverse network of funders, including some who did not even exist 50 years ago. That change shows no signs of slowing, either–this century alone has seen significant growth in assets and giving.Overall, the information provided here shows that Southern philanthropy is stronger than ever–and more ready than ever to transform communities and improve lives.

Mapping the Dance Landscape in Chicagoland

June 13, 2019

The Chicago region is a hub for arts and culture and boasts a thriving dance community. What do we know about the dance sector in Chicagoland (defined in this report as Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties in Illinois and Lake County, Indiana)? And what do the data reveal about opportunities and challenges facing dancers, dance organizations, and the sector as whole?

Assessing the Need for a Nationwide Community Foundation CEO Network

September 20, 2018

In partnership with a group of community foundation leaders, CF Insights conducted a field-wide survey of community foundation CEOs to determine the strength of demand for their own formalized, unified network, which would allow them to connect to each other on issues relevant to chief executives from across the community foundation field. This report examines the results.

The State of Global Giving by U.S. Foundations, 2011-2015

August 14, 2018

The State of Global Grantmaking Giving by U.S. Foundations is the latest report in a decades-long collaboration between Foundation Center and The Council on Foundations and aims to help funders and civil society organizations better navigate the giving landscape as they work to effect change around the world. The analysis 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. 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.

Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2017: Data to Drive Decisions

October 12, 2017

Each year, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy and Foundation Center analyze global disaster-related funding from foundations, bilateral and multilateral donors, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), corporations, and smaller donors who give through donor advised funds and online platforms. We analyze this funding according to a taxonomy that classifies giving by type of disaster and disaster assistance strategy.Philanthropic funding for disasters and humanitarian crises is situated within a large ecosystem of global aid. While assistance from governments far surpasses funding from foundations, institutional philanthropy still plays an important role. For example, foundations can choose to fill funding gaps and support underfunded areas of the disaster lifecycle. Support for disaster risk reduction and preparedness can mitigate the impact of disasters, and many communities need sustained funding for the long road to recovery. We hope this analysis will aid donors in considering how to maximize the impact of their disaster-related giving.

Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2016: Data to Drive Decisions

November 14, 2016

This is the third edition of the annual publication Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy: Data to Drive Decisions. This report analyzes funding for disasters and humanitarian crises in 2014, the most recent year for which comprehensive data are available. The report examines funding from U.S. foundations, bilateral and multilateral donors, corporations, and smaller donors who give through online platforms.

Number of Registered Public Benefit Foundations in Europe exceeds 147,000

September 30, 2016

Data compiled by the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE) and analysed by Foundation Center (New York) indicates that there are more than 147,000 registered "public benefit foundations" in Europe, with combined annual expenditures of nearly 60 billion euro. These figures are based on the latest available data from 24 European countries in the DAFNE network, including 18 European Union members. This document provides details regarding the survey and the collect of those figures.

Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2015: Data to Drive Decisions

November 12, 2015

Jointly produced by Foundation Center and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, Measuring the State of Disaster Philanthropy 2015: Data to Drive Decisions analyzes funding trends for disasters and humanitarian crises in 2013. In addition to examining U.S. foundation funding, this second annual report integrates other disaster-related funding data, including bilateral and multilateral aid, corporate giving, and online giving, to paint a more detailed picture of how institutional philanthropy is situated within the broader disaster funding landscape. Collectively, this report, along with the dashboard and mapping platform, provides donors, practitioners, and other stakeholders with in-depth information on funding flows for disasters and humanitarian crises. Explore more at

Use of Consultants by U.S. Foundations: Results of A Foundation Center Survey

March 31, 2015

This article presents the results of a survey launched in January 2014 by Foundation Center, in collaboration with the National Network of Consultants to Grantmakers, examining use of consultants by community, corporate, and independent foundations whose annual giving totals at least $100,000.The survey asked funders to report whether they used consultants in the past two years and, if so, how frequently and for what purposes; they were also asked to report their level of satisfaction with consultants' work. Funders that did not engage consultants in the last two years were asked why not. The survey also sought open-ended responses about working with consultants.The survey found widespread use of consultants among foundations. While the results of this study tend to emphasize the benefits -- taking advantage of external expertise, allowing staff to stay focused on what they do best, bringing fresh or neutral perspectives to the work -- respondents were also clear that working with consultants has its challenges.

Sustain Arts/SE Michigan: A Portrait of the Cultural Ecosystem

October 26, 2014

This report discusses the potential use of data in arts organizations for strategic purposes. Data currently available on the cultural sector can lead to useful insights about the increasing proliferation of small arts organizations; the almost monolithic focus of private foundations on supporting a highly select group of large, well-established arts organizations; and the fact that established arts organizations are poorly positioned to satisfy emerging consumer preferences for cultural experiences. Such insights should provoke frank discussion and galvanize field leaders to advocate appropriate actions, both in response to existing disconnects and proactively, in anticipation of coming change. The data that are now available to the field are not perfect. In fact, that's part of the story that needs to be told about the cultural sector. Systematic data collection on artists, cultural organizations, and audiences receives only a token amount of government funding. Instead, it is left largely up to private organizations to document trends in both the nonprofit and for-profit cultural arenas. This leads to multiple non-overlapping data collection strategies, making it difficult to construct a coherent picture of the field. There are gaping holes in the puzzle, and the tales we tell with existing data must be told with caution.

Key Lessons from the Field of Cultural Innovation

June 1, 2013

The primary purpose of this knowledge synthesis is to provide the Rockefeller Foundation staff with a broader context for considering the findings of an independent evaluation of the Foundation's Cultural Innovation Fund (CIF). The synthesis has been designed to help key audiences understand the state of play, common concepts, challenges, questions, and key lessons from arts organizations who are already engaging innovative strategies and practices.

Untapped Potential: European Foundation Funding for Women and Girls

May 25, 2011

Analyzes trends in European foundation giving and programmatic activities focused on women and girls, including as a percentage of funding and number of grants, issue areas, and approaches to funding. Highlights best practices in effective engagement.