News & Events

Current Events

No items
  • Volunteer Time Value Pegged At $193 Billion

    The value of a volunteer hour was estimated to be $24.14 in 2016, up 2.5 percent from $23.56 the previous year. More than 63 million Americans volunteered about 8 billion hours, which would equate to about $193 billion based on that hourly value.

    Religious organizations were most popular among volunteers (34 percent), followed by educational or youth service (26 percent), and social or community service organizations (15 percent), according to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

    The estimate comes from Independent Sector, which bases the average on data collected in 2016, and releases it annually during National Volunteer Week (April 23-29), a program of Points of Light.

    “Giving of our time, talent, and effort is hugely consequential and we hope this value of volunteer time is just one way we can help measure the enormous contributions we all make toward improving our communities, our country, and our planet,” said Dan Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector.

    Most states saw an increase in the value of volunteer time, with the highest by far found in Washington, D.C., $39.17, followed by:

    • Washington, $30.04;
    • Massachusetts, $29.88;
    • Connecticut, $29.29;
    • California, $28.46; and,
    • New York, $28.06.

    States with the lowest value of volunteer time were:

    • West Virginia, $20.98;
    • South Dakota, $20.81;
    • Mississippi, $19.85;
    • New Mexico, $19.77; and,
    • Arkansas, $19.66.

    Delaware saw the biggest increase compared to the previous year, up 8.6 percent to $23.20, followed by:

    • Oregon, 6.2 percent, $24.15;
    • Connecticut, 5.5 percent, $29.29;
    • North Carolina, up 5.1 percent, $22.99; and,
    • Arizona, 5.0 percent, $23.57.

    Only two states saw the value of a volunteer hour decline (Wyoming, -4.3 percent, $22.13, and New Mexico, -0.7 percent, $19.77) while Colorado was unchanged (0.0 percent, $25.97).

    Vermont was the median value ($23.29, up 2.2 percent) among all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

    An interactive map is available on Independent Sector’s website, along with data for each state, indicating where the value is highest and lowest and how much it has risen or fallen since the previous year.

    “By sharing concrete data that highlights the impact of volunteers, we can inspire and mobilize more individuals and organizations to realize their potential and power to become active participants in sparking change,” Points of Light CEO Tracy Hoover said.

    The value of volunteer time is based on hourly earnings (approximately from yearly values) of all production and non-supervisory works on private, non-farm payrolls average (based on yearly earnings provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics) for the national average. IS indexes the figure to determine state values and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.

    To access state-by-state values of volunteer time and learn more about the national estimate, visit

    Read more »

  • Paulsen Stepping Down At EIF, Focuses On SU2C, Education

    Lisa Paulsen, president and CEO of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF), has stepped down from her post after 27 years leading the Los Angeles-based organization. Paulsen will remain with the foundation, her focus shifting toward creating new fundraising and revenue-generating initiatives for foundation projects such as Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), which she co-founded, and foundation efforts in the education arena.

    Paulsen will also continue to serve as an executive producer for future telecasts. The EIF Board of Directors will announce the appointment of a new president and CEO in the coming months.

    “I look forward to directing all of my time into these crucial efforts, about which I am so passionate,” Paulsen said via the announcement. “As EIF grew, so did my executive and administrative responsibilities as president and CEO. I am thrilled that our new chair, Chris Silbermann, and the EIF Board have given me the opportunity to focus all my energy doing what I love so much — raising money for the incredibly valuable programs EIF has launched over the years, producing, and engaging the talent who so generously support our work.”

    Paulsen helped raise more than $1 billion for health, educational, and social initiatives during her tenure at EIF and became one of the leading influencers in the sector. She was selected to The NonProfit Times’ Power & Influence Top 50 for six consecutive years spanning from 2009 to 2014.

    SU2C has provided funding in the search for new treatments to more than 1,200 scientists across more than 140 institutions since its 2008 launch. The biennial telecast, for which Paulsen served as an executive producer in 2014 and 2016, has attracted more than 800 film, television, and music stars with Paulsen and EIF shouldering the primary responsibility of securing donated air time and the participation of celebrity supporters.

    EIF, under Paulsen, has also partnered with fellow SU2C co-founder Katie Couric on its National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance which launched in 2000.

    “Lisa is the ultimate go-to person when you want to get something done,” Couric said via a statement. “She has an uncanny ability to take ambitious ideas and turn them into reality by putting together the team needed to make that happen. Quite simply, Stand Up To Cancer would never have come to be without Lisa’s commitment and leadership, and I’m thrilled she will have more time to focus on growing our lifesaving movement.”

    In addition to cancer-related initiatives, Paulsen has helped lead EIF efforts including Hunger Is, a collaboration with The Albertsons Companies Foundation that has raised more than $18 million for programs providing healthy food to children since 2014, and the official SAG Awards Post-Awards Gala. The gala, which EIF co-hosts with People magazine, has honored actors’ charitable efforts in their communities for the past 21 years.

    Read more »

  • UK Donations Steady Since Brexit Vote

    Uncertainty has shrouded UK charities following the June 24, 2016 vote to exit the European Union. Early indications, however, indicate that the Brexit referendum has done little to affect giving – with Brits donating £9.7 billion in 2016, up slightly from £9.6 billion in 2015. The sum, when factoring in the margin for error, shows little or no change in giving. The figure lags behind 2010’s high-water mark of £11.6 billion, according to Charities Aid Foundation’s (CAF) report – CAF UK Giving 2017 – but is in-line with figures from recent years that have kept within the £10 billion range.

    The giving survey started 2016 based on 1,000 quarterly, in-person surveys before transitioning into a monthly, online survey of 1,000 respondents each in May 2016. The rate of having given in the past four weeks averaged 33 percent post-Brexit, topping off at 41 percent in November. The giving rate in the month prior to Brexit was 30 percent. The report also showed that those who voted to remain in the EU were more likely to engage in charitable or social action (93 percent) than those who voted to leave (87 percent). Both groups were more likely to participate than those who did not vote (82 percent).

    Overall, the median monthly amount given by a donor in 2016 was £18, while the mean was £40. Both figures were increases from 2015, which posted £14 and £37, respectively. The median gift topped out at about £20 in May, July, October, and December, according to the report, while falling to about £15 in June and November. The mean gift bottomed out at £33 in November, the month of greatest frequency of giving, and topped off at £49 in December. Geographically, Londoners provided the largest mean donation, £58, while those in Ulster had the lowest, £27.

    Medical research organizations (26) percent were the most common type of charity to have been donated to in the four weeks leading up to a survey. Organizations whose missions center around animal welfare (25 percent), children and young people (24 percent), hospitals and hospices (22 percent), and overseas aid and disaster relief (19 percent) followed close behind. In terms of portion of overall dollars, religious organizations (20 percent) and overseas aid disaster relief organizations (10 percent) received the largest shares of the pie.

    Organizations dedicated to children and young people, medical research organizations, and hospitals and hospices each received 8 percent of overall dollars. Conservation organizations and animal welfare charities each received 7 percent of funds.

    Donating money was the most common way Brits gave in 2016, with 61 percent reporting that they had given in the past year. Other popular ways Brits donated or participated in 2016 included giving goods to charity (56 percent), signing a petition (56 percent), sponsoring someone or a charity (37 percent), buying an ethical product (27 percent), and volunteering (17 percent).
    Other key findings from the report included:

    * Donating cash was the most popular means of monetary donation (58 percent) among Brits and particularly popular among those ages 16 to 24 (63 percent). Buying good and raffles and lotteries were also very common at 40 percent each. More than a quarter (26 percent) of respondents reported making a donation online – topped by those ages 25 through 44 (32 percent);

    * The number of monthly givers decreased from 2015 to 2016, 31 percent to 25 percent. The number of those who gave on an ad-hoc basis increased, however, from 41 percent in 2015 to 51 percent in 2016; and,

    * Trust in charities remained consistent post-Brexit. The percentage of respondents who strongly or tended to agree that charities are trustworthy stood at 49 percent in May of 2016, the month before the referendum. That percentage fluctuated between 47 percent (December) and 53 percent (November) through the remainder of the year.

    Read more »

  • Osberg Stepping Down At Skoll Foundation

    Sally Osberg will step down as president and CEO of the Skoll Foundation after 16 years, only hold those posts in the foundation’s history. She will remain in the role until a new president is in place.

    “For me, this is the right move at the right time for all the right reasons,” Osberg said in a announcement of departure. “I will miss more than I can say about the Skoll Foundation. I couldn’t be more confident about its future; indeed, the foundation truly is poised to deliver even greater value in the years ahead,” she said.

    Osberg will begin a new role as senior advisor to Jeff Skoll and the Jeff Skoll Group of organizations once a permanent successor is found. The search for her replacement is being run by Sally Sterling of Spencer Stuart.

    The Palo Alto, Calif.-based foundation is one of the leadership philanthropic organizations in social entrepreneurship. In 2004, the foundation established a partnership with the Said Business School of Oxford University and produced the first Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.

    The Skoll Awards for Social Entrepreneurship portfolio has grown to 100 ventures, ranging from deforestation in the Amazon to improving health outcomes in some of the poorest countries.
    Osberg has twice been included in The NonProfit Times Power & Influence Top 50, in 2015 and 2016. She is a founding board member of the Social Progress Imperative and Index.

    “Driven by an unwavering conviction that a sustainable world of peace and shared prosperity is within grasp, Jeff Skoll has approached his philanthropy as the quintessential entrepreneur,” Osberg said. “He’s created an utterly remarkable set of organizations, each of which brings a distinctive strategy to bear on solving the world’s most pressing problems,” she said.

    “Sally has been a major pillar of my work to better the world for 16 years,” said Jeff Skoll, founder and chairman of the Skoll Foundation. “I was admittedly new to philanthropy after leaving eBay. Having Sally by my side, with wisdom that transcended our work together, has been a joy and a privilege,” he said.

    The first full-time employee and first president of eBay, Skoll created the Skoll Foundation in 1999. He also is founder and chairman of Participant Media, and the Capricorn Investment Group.

    The Skoll Foundation advances its mission of social entrepreneurship through two separate entities, the Skoll Foundation, a private foundation launched in 2002, and the Skoll Fund, a supporting organization associated with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, created in 1999. The foundation also provides financial support to the Skoll Global Threats Fund, a separate private foundation.

    The Skoll Foundation assets were valued at $583 million and the Skoll Fund assets at $151 million, for a combined $1.1 billion, as of Dec. 15, 2015, the most recent year available. That year, the Skoll Foundation and fund awarded a total of $87 million and disbursed $68 million in grant payments.

    Read more »

  • Feeding America, Walmart Target 100 Million Meals

    Walmart has launched a nationwide initiative to fight hunger and support local Feeding America food banks through instore, online, and social participation through May 15. “Fight Hunger: Spark Change,” was kicked off with a $1.5 million donation by the retail giant with the goal of donating $3 million to Feeding America.
    Discover credit card and five food suppliers, Campbell Soup Company, General Mills, Kellogg Company, The Kraft Heinz Company, and PepsiCo, will also be part of the initiative, which has a goal of securing 100 million meals on behalf of Feeding America food banks.

    The campaign comes at a time when Chicago-based Feeding America has launched a number of major corporate and charitable partnerships including a separate initiative with General Mills, Enterprise car rentals, Omni Hotels & Resorts, and Red Nose Day.

    Beginning on March 1, specially-marked General Mills products have included an Outnumber Hunger code, with every code entered through Jan. 31, 2018 securing five meals on behalf of local food banks. Omni’s “Say Goodnight to Hunger” program, launched last June, donates the equivalent of dinner for a family of four for each booking made directly on the hotel’s website. Feeding America will be one of several charity partner for Red Nose Day, which airs on NBC on May 25.

    “Great partnerships are essential to moving the needle, and we are grateful to Walmart, its dedicated suppliers and Discover for coming together for the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “Movements like this give each and every one of us an opportunity to get involved and make a difference in the fight against hunger.”

    “Fight Hunger: Spark Change” will seek to generate funding and awareness around food insecurity in three ways over the next month:

    * Through purchases: Every participating product purchased at a U.S. Walmart through May 15 will be met with a 9-cent donation by the supplier to a Feeding American member foodbank up to applicable limits. The 9-cents figure is consistent with Feeding America’s donation page, which claims that a $1 donation can provide 11 meals. The five suppliers have each announced total donation maximums of between $750,000 and $2.5 million. Discover will also donate 9-cents for every Discover card transaction made at a U.S. Walmart store during that period, up to $1 million.

    * On social media: Walmart-provided campaign content will be featured on platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter with users free to either show support by liking or sharing the content or create their own by using the hashtag #FightHunger. Snapchat will feature Walmart-provided “Fight Hunger: Spark Change” filters nationwide on April 21. Walmart has pledged to donate the equivalent of 10 meals, 90 cents, for every act of support online – up to $1.5 million.

    * At the register: Customers will be given the opportunity to donate to their local Feeding America foodbank during checkout. For additional campaign details, visit

    Read more »

  • Travel Writer Gifts Apartment Complex To YWCA

    The YWCA of Seattle | King | Snohomish received a donation from travel writer and host Rick Steves sooner than originally expected.

    The Edmonds, Wash.-based television host and author, perhaps best known for Rick Steves’ Europe, purchased a 24-unit complex in 2005 and partnered with YWCA and Edmonds Noon Rotary to operate and support the housing program for the past 12 years. Trinity Place in Lynnwood, Wash., provides stable housing for women and children experiencing homelessness in Snohomish County. It is valued at about $4 million, according to one published report.

    The original plan was to will ownership to the YWCA but instead Steves decided to make the donation while he is alive. “In these unstable times, you never know what’s going to happen,” he said. “By giving this now, YWCA gains the certainty that comes with ownership and is in a better position to plan for their future,” Steves said.

    Homelessness continues to be a challenge as housing prices in the region continue to rise. Snohomish County has experienced a 50-percent increase in unsheltered people since 2013 and more than 2,400 students in the county are reported to be experiencing homelessness, according to YWCA.

    Last year, YWCA served 60 women and family members at Trinity Place. In addition to transitional housing, the donation will ensure YWCA can continue to provide direct services, including employment and educational assistance, legal advocacy, and on-site mental health care.

    Seattle, Wash.-based YWCA of Seattle | King | Snohomish reported $31.1 million in total revenue for the fiscal year ending 2015, the most recent year available. The organization provided assistance of about $5.2 million in fair market value assistance via shelter/rental assistance to more than 6,200 recipients, according to the annual Form 990.

    YWCA Executive Director of Snohomish County Services Mary Anne Dillon said if it were not for Trinity Place, some of the women served by it would be homeless. “Having reliable housing options like Trinity Place is not only crucial – it’s a matter of life and death for families in our community,” she said.

    “I don’t think it’s particularly loving or saintly to house people, I just think it’s enlightened,” Steves said in a press release announcing the donation last week. “If our country truly wants to be great, we need creative thinking connected with our hearts,” he said. “And it’s my hope that love and compassion can trump values of crass commercialism, greed, and ‘winners’ beating ‘losers.’”

    Read more »

  • Advocacy Groups Challenge Ethics Laws

    Two advocacy organizations for nonprofits have challenged provisions of an ethics law approved last year in New York State that they contend is unconstitutional and harmful to nonprofits.

    Lawyers Alliance for New York and the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York (NPCC) filed a complaint against the New York Attorney General’s Office. The 15-page filing alleges that New York Executive Law §172-e violates the 1st and 14th amendments as a result of a requirement that nonprofits report donor information because they provided a certain level of assistance to 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations – even when that support was not connected to lobbying or political speech.

    The case is expected to be joined by ongoing litigation brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union, the American Civil Liberties Union and Citizens Union before Judge Richard M. Berman of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

    A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said they are reviewing the lawsuit but had no comment beyond that at the moment.

    Executive law §172-e requires nonprofits that donate staff, staff time, personnel, offices, office supplies, financial support of any kind or any other resources totaling $2,500 or more in a six-month period to a 501c4 social welfare organization that engages in lobbying to file a report with the attorney general. The report must include the identity of any donor to the nonprofit of $2,500 or more and would be posted online within 30 days.

    The measure was adopted by the state Senate (S-8160) and Assembly (A-10742) on June 18, and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Aug. 24.

    “While other sections of the statute are intended to increase transparency in the electoral process, the provisions we challenge today are unrelated to those goals,” said Sean Delany, executive director of the Lawyers Alliance for New York. “Nonprofits that provide technical support, make grants, or otherwise support advocacy organizations – with no intention of supporting lobbying activity – should not be required to disclose their donors without any connection to that activity. This is the first statute in the country to mandate such disclosure, and it is an ill-considered way to create such a legislative precedent,” he said.

    Transparency and accountability are fundamental to nonprofits, especially those engaging in lobbying, NPCC President Sharon Stapel said, but the law catches nonprofits up in a net of reporting for every day activities that have no connection to lobbying.”

    Read more »

  • Feed The Children Sued By Former CEO

    Feed The Children (FTC) is under fire again, this time by the short-lived CEO who leveled accusations about the board’s oversight in a lawsuit filed this week. Former Congressman J.C. Watts directed his concerns to the Oklahoma Attorney General’s Public Protection Office in October weeks before a joint announcement that he would no longer be chief executive.

    The seven-page complaint was filed in District Court of Oklahoma County and seeks a jury trial, $75,000 in damages as well as punitive damages and attorney’s fees. The suit also names six members of the board of directors as defendants.

    Watts contends that the board misrepresented the strength of Feed The Children, assuring him that “well-publicized problems of the past” had been corrected. The former Oklahoma football star was recruited to be president and CEO in November 2015, meeting with the board’s search committee, and ultimately accepting the position as of February 2016.

    Shortly after joining Feed The Children, Watts said he discovered “many internal management and financial problems,” as well as irregularities and problems in operations. Several times he requested to meet with the board to discuss the issues to not avail, according to the lawsuit, so he detailed his concerns and requested a meeting in a Sept. 27, 2016 letter to the board.

    When the board took no action on his concerns, Watts alerted the state Attorney General’s Office on Oct. 18 and informed board member Mike Hogan of his missive on Nov. 3. The next day, Watt was terminated after a special board meeting “in retaliation for making the allegations known to the AG and the FTC Board of Directors.”

    An email and voicemail message seeking comment from Feed The Children officials have not been returned.  In an email late Wednesday, a spokesperson for the organization said Feed The Children does not comment on pending lawsuits.

    Among the concerns Watts alleged are:

    • Failure by the board to perform due diligence and uphold fiduciary responsibilities, including improper contracting practices, failure to evaluate return on investment (ROI) and competitive market rates, excessive executive-level salaries, conflict of interests, and failure to properly investigate allegations of wrongdoing.
    • Unanimous board approval of more than $1.8 million in upfront investments for Christian artist contracts without evaluation of ROI and payments to artists, including marriage therapists and comedians, who never fulfilled the requirements of contracts or completed performances. Funding was secured through loans and artists were allowed to charge fees to venues as well.
    • The Christian artist groups were not registered to legally fundraise on behalf of the organization.
    • More than $2 million spent under a contract with a direct marketing firm that did not include cost of postage, ROI evaluation or market competitiveness analysis.
    • Chief Operating Officer Travis Arnold’s salary was increased by $6,000 while he served as interim CEO but not reduced after Watt was hired, leaving a salary in excess of $300,000. Arnold has served as interim CEO each time there’s been a CEO vacancy during the last decade and is currently serving in that position until a permanent CEO is appointed. He also is president of FTC Transportation, Inc., a for-profit trucking company that Watt said in his lawsuit poses potential conflicts of interests because the charity’s budget retains some control and has the same registered agents. The board refused to provide any information after he inquired about the relationship, the lawsuit alleges.

    The AG’s office has referred the matter to Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater because recently appointed Attorney General Mike Hunter served as Watts’ chief of staff during his time in Congress. Hunter was appointed in February after Scott Pruitt was confirmed as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

    Feed The Children has experienced some tumultuous years recently, with the ouster of founder Larry Jones and subsequent lawsuits amid a power struggle at the organization. Jones was terminated before being voted off the board in 2010, ultimately receiving payment of $800,000 as part of a settlement reached in 2011.

    During a transition period, former American Heart Association CEO Cass Wheeler served as CEO before Kevin Hagan was hired as the permanent chief executive. Things were relatively quiet during his three-year tenure and Hagan left two years ago to become CEO at American Diabetes Association in Arlington, Va.

    Feed The Children reported $468 million in total revenue for the fiscal year ending June 2016, according to the most recent federal Form 990 filed in February. About $413 million, or 88 percent, of the total was reported in noncash contributions, such as food, hygiene supplies, books and publications, and drugs and medical supplies. Hagan received total compensation of $252,780 in the most recent fiscal year, but that was not a full year’s salary. The total included $111,980 in base compensation, $75,000 in bonus and incentive, and $56,796 in other reportable compensation.

    Read more »

  • Millennials Feel Good Vibrations With Ministry Donations

    Millennial donors associate more positive emotions with giving to ministries than non-Millennials. Millennials are also more motivated by internal desires to give as opposed to external requests and do more research before giving than older donors.

    The data come from The Generosity Project by the Winchester, Va.-based Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). The report is based on data of 16,800 respondents who gave to ECFA members, with Millennials representing 22 percent of the total.

    Millennials were more likely to experience a given positive feeling than donors ages 35 and older across the board, including “hopeful,” 69 percent of Millennials compared to 60 percent of older donors; “connected,” 50 percent to 48 percent; “invested,” 53 percent to 46 percent; “satisfied,” 48 percent to 42 percent; and generous, 45 percent to 25 percent.

    Those dollars don’t flow easily, however, as Millennials do their homework before making a gift more often than non-Millennials. Nearly all, 96 percent, Millennials reported that they checked the ministry’s website before giving as compared to 88 percent of non-Millennials. Millennials were also more likely than non-Millennials to research ministries on third-party sites, 73 percent to 61 percent, and ask people that they know before giving, 87 percent to 79 percent.

    Millennials are also motivated to give in ways that differ from non-Millennials. More than half of Millennials (52 percent) reported that they gave because of who they are as a person as compared to 48 percent of non-Millennials. Millennials were also slightly more likely to give because of the reason they were asked, 13 percent to 11 percent, and the person who asked them to give, 12 percent to 7 percent. Non-Millennials were far more likely to be influenced by the ministry’s request itself than Millennials, 33 percent to 21 percent.

    Despite somewhat non-traditional giving motivators, Millennials are actually slightly more likely than their older counterparts to give in traditional ways, including monthly support, 4.2 percent to 3.9 percent, occasional one-time gifts, 4.2 percent to 4.0 percent; and gifts at small events, 3.5 percent to 3.3 percent.

    Millennials are also more likely to give in newer-age means such as online campaigns or challenges, 2.7 percent to 2.4 percent, and social media, 2 percent to 1.8 percent. Non-Millennials are more likely to give in response to a ministry presentation at church, 3.7 percent to 3.5 percent, or with an annual gift or pledge, 3.5 percent to 3.4 percent.

    Other findings from the report include:

    • Honesty in business practices is the overall most important quality for an organization, according to 50 percent of donors. Using a gift as promised finished a distant second at 25 percent;
    • The vast majority of donors (92 percent) cited financial accountability as a positive influencer of their decision to support; and,
    • Donors give because they feel blessed and believe their donation will make a difference. Feelings of being blessed, 89 percent, that their gift will make a difference, 85 percent, and that giving is the right thing to do, 71 percent, were the primary motivators of donors, according to the report. Someone they know asking them to give, 27 percent, and family tradition, 13 percent, were the least common reasons reported.
    Read more »

  • Grantmaking Up In Pacific Northwest

    Grantmaking in the Pacific Northwest jumped by more than 40 percent between 2012 and 2014, with health and education accounting for the largest portion of funding.

    Giving in the region is dominated, as usual, by the world’s largest foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Even without including the Seattle, Wash.-based foundation, grant dollars to the region increased by 13 percent, according to the latest sixth edition of “Trends in Northwest Giving” by Philanthropy Northwest, in collaboration with the Foundation Center.

    The biennial report compiled a snapshot of $1.8 billion through nearly 47,000 grants by more than 4,000 funders in 2014 across six states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.

    While giving to the Northwest by foundations of all kinds rose by double-digits from 2012 to 2014, giving to public charities declined by 1 percent. During that period, giving to health more than doubled, up by $302 million. Public affairs jumped 59 percent, or less than $6 million, although it’s a relatively small amount, the report indicated it’s likely to grow as more foundations “explore public policy and advocacy efforts.”

    Giving to education jumped by 31 percent, or $50 million, and to agriculture, fishing and forestry, by 30 percent, or almost $3 million. Of the 13 areas tracked, only four saw declines in giving: information and communication, down 45 percent or $6.6 million; human rights, 23 percent, or $5.5 million; philanthropy and nonprofit management, 3 percent or $1 million, and environment and animals, 2 percent, or $1.5 million.

    Of the $1 billion in grant dollars from family foundations in 2014, slightly more than half represents the Gates Foundation’s support of activities and programs in Oregon and Washington. The next largest funders in the Northwest were independent foundations, accounting for $338 million, or 19 percent, followed by community foundations, $177 million, or 10 percent.

    Corporate philanthropy made up about 8 percent of giving, topping $152 million, dominated by two local corporations. Microsoft and The Boeing Company accounted for more than half of the corporate giving, with $42.6 million and $39.3 million, respectively.

    Most grants made in the region were for less than $10,000, with a median size of grants of $5,000. More than 90 percent of the almost 40,000 grants analyzed were for $100,000 or less. About 44 percent of dollars came from 176 grants of $1 million or more.

    The Gates Foundation made the largest grant, giving $156 million to PATH, a Seattle, Wash.-based international health organization. Health and education comprised the largest piece of the giving pie in 2014, at 38 percent and 19 percent, respectively. Excluding Gates funding, the two still accounted for 22 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

    Education topped giving priorities at $254 million (not including Gates funding), followed by health, $201 million; human services, $170 million; environment and animals, $118 million, and arts and culture, $88.5 million.

    Foundations and corporate funders allocated the greatest proportion of grant dollars to program development, about $850 million of $1.8 billion, followed by research and evaluation, $494 million.

    Grants by the top 10 funders to the Northwest accounted for more than half of the giving in the region, including one-third by the Gates Foundation alone, at $521 million. The Oregon Community Foundation was second at $81.5 million, followed by the Schwab Charitable Fund, $53.2 million, the Seattle Foundation, $47.8 million, and Microsoft, $42.6 million, and United Way of King County, $41.5 million.

    Read more »