MN Grant-Making Expected to Stabilize in 2011

A recent report indicates that Minnesota grant-makers are more optimistic about their giving than they were at this time last year.

Minnesota grant-makers expect giving in the state to stabilize in 2011-a departure from two years of anticipating declines-according to a report by the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF).

According to the report, which was released Tuesday, 35 percent of grant-makers surveyed expect to give more in 2011, while half of grant-makers expect their giving to stay about the same as 2010. Only 10 percent expect to give less, and most expect their giving to change by only 4 percent or less.

Minnesota's largest grant-makers-those giving more than $10 million in grants annually-are likely to keep their giving levels steady. Grant-makers giving less than $10 million annually are more likely to increase their giving. The survey also found that corporate foundations and giving programs are not likely to change their grant-making levels, whereas community and public foundations will likely give more.

“When the economic crisis took hold in 2008, no one was sure how long and how bad the downturn would be, and what kind of toll it would take on nonprofits,” MCF President Bill King said in a statement. “Because much of foundation giving is asset-based, we expect the effects on grant-making to linger. It now appears that, while the 'new normal' is challenging, we are moving to more stability in the next year.”

About 68 percent of respondents reported current non-monetary support to nonprofits, such as technical and capacity-building assistance, volunteers, and in-kind products and services. Program-related investments and mission-related investments are reportedly being made by 36 percent and 16 percent of grant-makers, respectively. Public policy and advocacy activities were reported by 32 percent.

The MCF, a regional association of grant-makers, based its 2011 report on an October/November survey of 118 Minnesota grant-makers, which together represent about two-thirds of all foundation and corporate giving in Minnesota.