Only two out of the largest 100 US foundations will or might increase giving in 2009, according to research by the Foundation Center. The Center’s paper Grantmakers Describe the Impact of the Economic Crisis on their Giving analyses likely giving trends over the next year, based on information available in the Center’s online compilation of news and announcements about foundations’ response to the economic downturn (In Their Own Words: 2009 Foundation Giving Forecast). Of the largest 100, only the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has categorically said that it will increase giving in 2009 by raising its payout rate, while the John D & Catherine T MacArthur Foundation expects to ‘maintain or increase’ giving. To keep giving stable in the face of shrinking endowments and assets, ten large foundations are planning to increase their payout rates or establish cost-cutting measures such as freezing salaries, leaving staff vacancies unfilled, or reducing staff benefits. The Hewlett, Packard and McKnight Foundations have stated that they will reduce giving but will increase their payout rates to limit the amount of the reductions.
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