A new report out this morning from The Foundation Center says that giving by U.S. foundations to international causes reached a record $5.4 billion last year, with 2008 giving likely to top that and set yet another record. "The prospects for international giving in the near term are less pessimistic than current market conditions might suggest," the center's president Bradford K. Smith said in a statement. "More U.S. foundations are spending more resources on international problems, challenges, and opportunities than at any time in history." Adds Steve Gunderson, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations in Washington: "In a globalized word, philanthropy is rapidly becoming global as well."
Among major findings in the report: The Gates Foundation accounted for more than half of the rise in foundation funding to international causes between 2002 and 2006. Excluding Gates, the greatest share of international grant dollars went to pay for international development, followed by projects aimed at improving the environment and public health overseas. Some of the funding went to programs to develop the use of social media as a means for publicizing new efforts and distributing new forms of aid.
(Illustration by istock.com)