US giving totaled more than $358 billion in 2014 according to Giving USA, long time compilers and publishers together with the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University. Foundation giving, $53.97 billion, was 8.2 percent higher than 2013 (the increase was 6.5 percent when inflation-adjusted). Quite a bump
If $54 billion averages out at roughly 5% of assets, that’s over a trillion dollars of principal. Given the generally robust stock market it’s not fanciful to forecast a further gain in foundation giving this year – and additional growth in the collective corpus. What does this mean to a family foundation, especially a newer one?
First, the old story: into generally true that all boats rise on a rising tide.
Second, the time to think about the likelihood of more grants, perhaps in larger amounts, is now. Often the boards of family foundations meet infrequently and maybe not at all in the summer.
Third, the process of accepting and vetting proposals, making site visits, meeting charities’ management, assessing efficiency and effect, is not simple.Many family foundations, perhaps most, lack even part-time staff. Staffing up in a hurry is neither smart nor effective.
FFM/C can help.