Giving by foundations in Illinois outpaced that of foundations overall in 2010, a new report from the Chicago-based Donors Forum finds.
Produced in partnership with the Foundation Center and based on the most recent year for which complete data is available, Giving in Illinois (14 pages, PDF) found that more than four thousand foundations in the state gave a record $2.4 billion in 2010, an increase of 81 percent since 2000, while giving by U.S. foundations overall rose 66 percent. Illinois foundations' support of general operating expenses also exceeded the national average and, at 30 percent, accounted for the second largest share of type-of-support funding by foundations in the state, while the combined assets of foundations in the state, which totaled $27.9 million in 2010, grew more slowly than the national average.
The report also found that independent and family foundations accounted for nearly 90 percent of foundations in Illinois, with the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation topping the list in terms of asset size; that corporate foundations, which account for one out of every ten grant dollars awarded by Illinois foundations, gave more than $222 million in 2010, with the Caterpillar Foundation giving the lion's share; and that the Chicago Community Trust accounted for 91 percent of all giving by the state's community foundations and 86 percent of the assets within that category. In addition, the report found that the top funding priorities for foundations in the state in 2010 were education, which received 27.1 percent of grant dollars awarded, and human services, which received 23.5 percent.
"To ensure their effectiveness in Illinois, especially in such tough economic times, many grantmakers are sharpening their focus and seeking to increase efficiency and impact, while objectively demonstrating value of their support," said Donors Forum board member Gregory S. Gross, who is president and CEO of the Michael Reese Health Trust. "Giving in Illinois, and Donors Forum's partnership with the Foundation Center, shows how...[philanthropy] works to improve the quality of life in communities across the state."