Maximizing the Value of Philanthropic Efforts through Planned Partnerships between the U.S. Government and Private Foundations. Foundation and USG Spending

05/01/2009

Of the $1 trillion in private and public giving in 2006, U.S.-based foundations and USG together provided almost $750 billion of the total, at home and across the globe. Both groups of institutions focused more on domestic than on international work, though U.S. government spending was far larger than that of foundations.[4] In 2006, foundations spent roughly $28 billion on programs in health, education, development, the environment, human services, and relief, with roughly three-fourths of that amount dedicated to domestic projects and with the greatest concentration in health and education.[5] The federal governments philanthropy totaled $720 billion in 2006 and was even more heavily weighted toward domestic needs: 97 percent of USG philanthropic spending in the six specified sectors occurred within the U.S. This government spending was highest in the areas of development (government and civil society, and social, physical, and economic infrastructure) and human services.

In the international sphere, priorities for foundation and USG spending appear to be similar. In 2006, the largest proportion of international spending from both sectors went toward health and development. Geographically, nearly half of international foundation spending was directed to sub-Saharan Africa, while two-thirds of USG spending supported projects in Africa and the Middle East.[6]

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