Foundation funding for the arts dipped 3.5 percent in 2002, to an estimated $4.05 billion, after peaking at an estimated $4.2 billion in 2001, according to a report from the New York City-based Foundation Center and Grantmakers In the Arts, a national network of private and public donors. That reduction in giving is more modest than some had feared, given the recent turmoil in the stock market, the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and a persistently sluggish economy.
The report, Arts Funding IV: An Update on Foundation Trends, focuses mainly on trends in foundation arts grantmaking through 2001, based on an analysis of grants of $10,000 or more awarded by a sample of over one thousand of the nation's largest private and community foundations. The report also analyzes changes in foundation funding compared with changes in other sources of support, breaks down giving patterns by arts discipline and by region, and explores shifts in the types of support awarded.
Among its key findings, Arts Funding IV reveals that arts funding accounted for 11.8 percent of overall foundation grant dollars in 2001; nearly nine out of ten foundations in the sample supported the arts in 2001; and museum activities received the largest share of grant dollars in the 2001 sample (34 percent), followed by performing arts (30 percent).
"Most fields are experiencing reductions in foundation support, and the arts field is no exception," said Loren Renz, vice president for research at the Foundation Center and co-author of the report. "Arts organizations are facing the toughest fundraising climate in a decade. At the same time, it's important to keep in mind that estimated foundation arts giving in 2002 totaled only slightly less than the record giving level of 2001."