Health, Education Nonprofits Receive Lion's Share of Grants
June 18, 2020 — Massachusetts nonprofits focused on health and education receive the lion's share— 56.8%— of dollars granted by Massachusetts-based foundations, according to a report released yesterday, the first of its kind in more than 15 years.
According to Giving Massachusetts 2020, published by Philanthropy Massachusetts, a Boston-based regional association of grant makers, health-focused organizations received $1.68 billion, or 30.5%, of all foundation funds granted by Massachusetts-based foundations in 2017, the most recent year for which there is a near complete tally of foundation giving.
Education-oriented organizations received $1.45 billion, or 26.3%, of all foundation dollars that same year, according to the report.
Giving then declined dramatically, with human services organizations garnering the next largest share of foundation dollars – $414 million, or 7.5%, of all giving by Massachusetts-based foundations in 2017.
In terms of numbers of grants awarded in 2017, education organizations were the top grantees, receiving 16,923, or 26.2%, of all grants awarded that year by Massachusetts-based foundations.
Second most number of grants went to human services organizations, which received 10,812, or 16.7% of all grants, followed by health organizations.
While science and engineering organizations received only 1.9% of the grants, those grants averaged $238,774, the highest among the 18 categories of organizations. Health-focused entities ranked second in terms of average grants size: $194,217 per grant.
Other key findings from the report, include the following:
In 2017, there were 3,481 Massachusetts-based independent, corporate, community, and operating foundations.
Massachusetts foundation assets reached $29.4 billion and giving surpassed $2.0 billion in 2017.
Giving by private, independent or family foundations made up 81% of grant dollars distributed; 10% of funding was distributed by corporate foundations, 8% by community foundations, and 1% by operating foundations.
Massachusetts is home to 16 community foundations that collectively held $1.9 billion in assets and gave $189 million in 2017.
Massachusetts received a total of $4.5 billion in grant dollars in 2017, one-third of which was provided by Massachusetts-based grant makers.
The following table summarizes grants made by Massachusetts-based foundations in 2017 to organizations in the state, according to Giving Massachusetts 2020.
Millions of $
Community, Economic Dev
Arts and Culture
Philanthropy, Nonprofit Mgnt
Agricuture, Fishing, Foresty
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