Grantmaking Foundations

Grantmaking Foundations

Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:

Organizations in this industry manage endowments and award grants to a variety of recipients; some endow a single entity, such as a museum or university. Major organizations include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the J Paul Getty Trust, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the W K Kellogg Foundation, all based in the US, as well as the Stichting INGKA Foundation (based in the Netherlands), the Al Maktoum Foundation (the UAE), and the Azim Premji Foundation (India).


Demand is driven by a wide range of local, regional, and national problems that impact public policy, civic life, social justice, and various economic, political, and cultural issues. The profitability of individual foundations depends on effective fundraising and strategic investments. Large foundations have advantages in broad donor support and geographic reach, as well as significant investment income. Small foundations can compete effectively by offering flexible philanthropic services that target localized needs. The US industry is fragmented: the 50 largest organizations take in about 40% of overall revenue.


Project areas that receive the most money in annual grants include education (about 35%), public affairs (about 21%), health (20%), arts and culture (18%), according to The Global Philanthropy Report.

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