Maximizing the Value of Philanthropic Efforts through Planned Partnerships between the U.S. Government and Private Foundations. Appendix C: U.S. Government and Foundation Health and Social Services Spending

In 2006, total individual giving by individual Americans to charitable causes was about $246 billion, with about $113 billion devoted to causes in health and social services (Giving USA, 2007).[1] Similarly, the Foundation Center estimates that American foundations made grants totaling $39 billion in 2006, of which roughly $28 billion was spending on programming in the health and social services areas. In addition to these private donations, we estimate that in 2006, Americans provided another $720 billion to meet health and social services needs through grant and assistance programs operated by the U.S. government (excluding large entitlement programs such as Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid). Unlike individuals, foundations and the USG operate large, carefully planned and budgeted programs, in order to address specific needs among targeted groups or geographic areas.

While estimates of total philanthropic spending provide a rough method of comparing philanthropic giving by different components of society, this Appendix examines the distribution of foundation and USG spending, consistent with the aims of this study. Distributions are examined both geographically and across six programmatic sectors within health and social services: development, education, environment, health, human services, and relief. Identifying areas where foundations and USG currently focus their resources establishes a context for analyzing foundation-USG interactions. Specifically, given ASPEs interests, MPR used available data to answer the following research questions:

1.  What is the level of foundation and USG funding on international health and social service initiatives? What types of problems does it address and in what geographic regions?

2.  What is the level of foundation and USG funding on domestic health and social service initiatives? What types of problems does it address?

This Appendix describes data sources used to address these questions and includes a few caveats about interpreting the spending estimates (Section A). We then describe foundation spending (Section B), followed by USG spending (Section C). In both sections, reflecting the overall studys emphasis on international initiatives, international spending is examined first, beginning with spending by sector and then spending by international geographic region. Domestic spending is presented by sector only. Spending patterns across sectors and regions are then addressed in Section D, followed in Section E by a brief summary.

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