Minnesota Foundations, Corporations Expect Giving to Decline in 2009, Report Finds

After several years of increases, giving by Minnesota foundations and corporate grantmakers is expected to decline in 2009, a new report from the Minnesota Council on Foundations finds.

Based on a survey of grantmakers representing 70 percent of the grant dollars awarded in 2006, the latest year for which complete data are available, the 2009 Outlook Report (6 pages, PDF) found that 40 percent of grantmakers in the state expect their giving to decline in 2009, 41 percent expect their giving to remain flat, and 15 percent hope to increase their grantmaking. According to MCF president Bill King, this could mean a roughly 4 percent decline in total grantmaking in 2009.

The survey also found that the number of grants awarded by Minnesota grantmakers will most likely fall; that grantmakers expect to maintain their current priorities, adjusting somewhat to meet shifting community needs; and that grantmakers are likely to offer more non-monetary and in-kind support to nonprofits facing economic challenges.

In addition, more than half the respondents said they expect the value of their assets to decline further in 2009, affecting their ability to give. However, said King, grantmaking will fall at a somewhat slower rate than the value of assets because foundation payouts are typically based on a one- to three-year rolling average.

"Unfortunately," said King, "this same factor may negatively affect grant levels in 2010 and beyond."

"2009 Outlook Report." Minnesota Council on Foundations Report 01/01/2009.