A quarter of all US foundation giving goes to international development

A quarter of all US foundation giving goes to international development

Foundations channel around 16% of total private development assistance (PDA). Data for non-US foundations, however, is poor. In 2011 US-based foundations gave more than a quarter of their funding to international development for the first time since data began in 1998.

For the 1,330 US foundations reporting to the US Foundation Center, PDA amounted to US$6.4 billion in 2011. This was up from US$4.0 billion in 2010.

US foundation giving for international development increased by 49% between 2006 and 2011. The share of foundation funding allocated to international development and to recipient organisations based outside the United States reached record levels in 2011. The proportion of US foundations awarding at least one international grant also increased, from 57% in 2008 to 60% by 2010. A large share of international foundation funding from the US goes to health and to more advanced developing countries, such as China and Brazil.

But PDA from foundations appears to be vulnerable to major economic shocks: the fall in flows in 2009 and 2010 may be due to the global financial crisis.

While US foundation funding is fairly well reported, data on flows from foundations in other countries is limited. Better data vital to understand the potential impact of foundations’ funds to help end extreme poverty by 2030. The International Aid Transparency Initiative standard is a potential means to make this data available.

Data are available in Excel and CSV format.


Private development assistance from US foundations, 2005-2011

DAC is the Development Assistance Commitee.

For details on methodology and sources see forthcoming report.


Source: US Foundation Center

See also Development Initiatives, Measuring Private Development Assistance (forthcoming, June 2014)

Factsheet on Foundation resources for development.

Development Initiatives, Investment to End Poverty (September 2013)