According to a new report from the New York City-based Foundation Center, American family foundations contributed more than $20 billion in 2010 to organizations and people working for the public good.
Issued annually, the latest installment of Key Facts on Family Foundations (4 pages, PDF) reported a 1.1 percent increase in family foundation giving between 2009 and 2010, a reversal of the previous year's 3.4 percent drop. The report also found that family foundation giving in 2010 remained below the pre-recession peak of $21 billion registered in 2008. In the U.S., family foundations, fully a third of which have been established since 2000, account for the majority (63 percent) of giving by independent foundations.
Although education was the top priority of family foundations in the Northeast, Midwest, and South, health received the biggest share among family foundations in the West, largely due to the giving of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.