Report Released on Philanthropic Giving Trends in the Northwest


Philanthropy Northwest has released its biennial report Trends in Northwest Giving. The report offers an in-depth analysis of giving from foundations and corporations to the six-state Northwest region. Published by Philanthropy Northwest once every two years, the Trends report is the most comprehensive and detailed of its kind.

During the recession’s advance from 2008 to 2010, giving to Northwest nonprofits saw a 23.5 percent decline as shown in the report. However, the 2012 edition of the biennial Trends report also shows a 20 percent increase in philanthropic contributions since 2006, bringing total giving in 2010 close to pre-recession levels.

“Two years ago, we reported that contributions from foundations and corporations to the region’s nonprofits had reached $1.3 billion in 2008, a new high for organized philanthropy in our region. But even as we reported this, we knew that the recession was dramatically changing the upward trajectory of philanthropy,” says Carol Lewis, CEO of Philanthropy Northwest. “In the 2012 edition of Trends in Northwest Giving, we explore organized philanthropy’s response to the worst economic news in the country since the Great Depression.”

Analyzing over $1.08 billion in grants made to Northwest nonprofits in 2010, the report reveals:

  • Education received the highest proportion of contributions in 2010, claiming 30 percent of dollars granted in the region that year (approximately $318 million)
  • While giving declined in most categories, dollars targeted to Native communities grew nearly 16 percent
  • The prevalence of small grants seen in previous years continues, with a median grant amount of $8,000
  • Northwest funders were responsible for 80 percent of dollars given to Northwest nonprofits in 2010, with nearly half of the foundations surveyed reporting contributions to more than one state in the region
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