Latest Giving in Illinois Report Shows Illinois Foundations' Giving Outpaces U.S. Foundations Overall

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

ThumbnailAlthough lagging behind foundations in other states with regard to asset growth, Illinois foundation giving outpaced U.S. foundations overall, says the latest Giving in Illinois report issued today by Donors Forum. This year's report was produced in partnership with The Foundation Center and uses data reported to them by the foundations. The report examines data from 2010, the most recent full year for which data has been reported, and reveals the varying ways in which donors support nonprofits in the arts, health, human services, and several other nonprofit sectors.

"To ensure their effectiveness in Illinois, especially in such tough economic times, many grantmakers are sharpening their focus, and seeking to increase efficiency and impact, while objectively demonstrating value of their support. Giving in Illinois, and Donors Forum's partnership with The Foundation Center, shows how Illinois Philanthropy works to improve the quality of life in communities across the state," said Gregory S. Gross, Ed.D., President and CEO of Michael Reese Health Trust, and a Member of Donors Forum's Board of Directors. "It's an unusually clear and valuable resource for nonprofits, government agencies, policymakers, grantseekers, and other stakeholders," he added.

Key takeaways from the report include:

  • The giving of 4,031 Illinois foundations reached a record $2.4 billion in 2010, up 81% since 2000 (adjusted for inflation, giving rose 43%). This outpaces giving by U.S. foundations overall, which rose a more modest 66% (31% adjusted for inflation).
  • The $27.9 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. 
  • Illinois funders' support of general operating expenses exceeds the national share, and accounted for the second largest share of funding in Illinois -- almost 30%, which surpassed the 22.4% reported nationally.
  • Independent and family foundations account for the majority -- almost nine out of ten -- of Illinois foundations and resources, including the state's largest foundation by assets -- the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.
  • Illinois corporate foundations account for one in ten grant dollars, giving more than $222 million in 2012. Peoria-based Caterpillar Foundation tops that list.
  • The Chicago Community Trust leads among community foundations in the state, accounting for 86% of all community foundation assets in the state and 91% of community foundation giving.
  • Foundations in Cook County and surrounding areas control the majority of resources, representing 61% of total giving by Illinois foundations. Similarly, nonprofits in Cook County benefited from the single largest share of Illinois foundation funding, 85.1% of grant dollars.
  • Education and human services are the top funding priorities in Illinois, with foundations providing just over half of the 2010 giving in Illinois for education (27.1%) and human services (23.5%). 

Download a copy of the report here.

~Marilou Jones, Director of Communications, Donors Forum