Illinois Foundation Giving Continues to Increase Faster than the National Average, Says Latest Giving in Illinois Report

Monday, June 3, 2013

GILCoverWhile Illinois’ foundation assets still sit below peak level and asset growth remains lower than the national average, Illinois foundation giving has been increasing annually since 2003, according to the latest Giving in Illinois report. 

Donors Forum, in collaboration with the Foundation Center, has issued this latest report offering a statewide perspective of the scope and giving priorities of the Illinois foundation community. The report is based on all grants of $10,000 or more awarded by a national sample of 409 larger U.S. foundations, including 56 Illinois foundation.

In comparing Illinois data to national averages, the report allows for grantmakers, nonprofits, and policy makers alike to both appreciate -- and improve -- the philanthropic services offered across the state.

The report analyzes the Illinois foundation community, the focus of Illinois foundation giving, and the outlook for foundation giving with data from 2011, the most recent year of available information, to create a uniquely comprehensive picture of the nonprofit sector. This year’s report focuses on the impressive growth and commitment to philanthropy that Illinois has demonstrated. Even in a time of financial instability, giving is still a top priority to Illinois foundations.

Key Findings:

  • The giving of 4,200 Illinois foundations reached a record $2.6 billion in 2011, up 86% since 2001 (adjusted for inflation, giving rose 46%). This outpaces giving by U.S. foundations overall, which rose a more modest 61% (26% adjusted for inflation).
  • The $28.5 billion in assets reported by Illinois foundations have grown more slowly than the national average, although this largely reflects the concentration of new foundations in areas of rapid economic growth, such as the West Coast. 
  • Independent and family foundations account for the majority -- nine out of ten -- of Illinois foundations and resources. The Abbott Patient Assistance Foundation was by far the largest Illinois foundation by giving in 2011.
  • Illinois corporate foundations account for one in ten grant dollars, giving more than $287 million in 2011. Peoria-based Caterpillar Foundation tops that list.
  • The Chicago Community Trust leads among community foundations in the state, accounting for 83% of all community foundation assets in the state and 86% of community foundation giving.
  • Foundations in Cook County and surrounding areas control the majority of resources, representing 60% of total giving by Illinois foundations. Similarly, nonprofits in Cook County benefited from the single largest share of Illinois foundation funding, 84.7% of grant dollars.
  • More than half (52.5%) of the 6,500 grants awarded by sampled Illinois foundations in 2011 stayed in Illinois, with 53% of grant dollars coming from Illinois-based foundations.
  • Education and health are the top funding priorities in Illinois, with foundations providing more than half of the 2011 giving in Illinois for education (27%) and health (25%). Additionally, Illinois recipients benefitted from a notably larger share of funding for human services in 2011 (17.3% versus 14.2%).

Download a copy of the report here.

~Rebecca Jackson, Communications and Development Volunteer