Researchers examine foundation expectations for giving in 2009

Do you know where your organization’s revenue will come from this year? If you have been grant dependent, JVA Consulting encourages you to develop a plan to diversify your income now in light of the economic crisis.

According to an article in Philanthropy News Digest, the Foundation Center released a new research advisory that examines how foundations expect their 2009 giving to be affected by the economic downturn. The advisory, Grantmakers Describe the Impact of the Economic Crisis on Their Giving, looks at public statements made by more than one-third of the 100 largest U.S. foundations ranked by total giving and 35 other foundations and corporate funders that have described their plans.

Of the 100 largest foundations, only two have announced that they intend to increase their giving in 2009: the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which said it will increase giving in 2009 by raising its payout rate, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which expects to maintain or increase its giving.

To keep giving stable despite shrinking endowments and assets, 10 large foundations, including the Hewlett, Packard and McKnight foundations, are planning to increase their payout rates or establish cost-cutting measures such as freezing salaries, leaving staff vacancies unfilled or reducing staff benefits.

“These grantmakers deserve credit for letting their grantees know what to expect over the coming year, so they can prepare,” said Foundation Center senior director of research Steven Lawrence, who co-authored the advisory. “A number of these funders are also belt-tightening to boost their giving, which clearly shows that we are all in this together.”

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