With Less Money to Dole Out, Foundations Become More Targeted in Their Giving

Crain's Chicago Business
Monica Ginsburg

Monday, January 25, 2010
With less money to dole out, foundations have become more strategic in their giving, targeting fewer areas with larger grants to organizations that fit the bill.

“Doing fewer things well, in a deeper, more engaged way, is probably better than a scattershot approach,” says Phil Buchanan, president of the Center for Effective Philanthropy, a Cambridge, Mass., non-profit research organization. “Often the best way to prove and demonstrate results is to focus narrowly.”

Nationally, charitable contributions from foundations and individuals were down last year. Following a September survey, the New York-based Foundation Center expects 2009 will show a 10% drop in foundation giving once all the data are in. And more than three-quarters of survey respondents said they expect philanthropy to become more strategic as a result.

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