Rural America Underserved?

February 25, 2011 at 6:10 PM 1 comment

Rick Cohen of the Nonprofit Quarterly‘s Cohen Report examines what he calls stagnant levels of giving to domestic rural areas, charging that “rural philanthropy has not made the leaps that rural communities sorely need.”

The article looks at the levels of giving from 2004 to the third quarter of 2008, deliberately selecting a range before the recent recession. Using data from the Foundation Center, Cohen finds that “rural development” fared poorly over the period:

During that span annual foundation grants for rural development declined from $92.7 million in 2004 to $89.5 million in 2008. That’s a 3.45 percent decrease during a period when total annual foundation grantmaking increased 43.4 percent.

Here we pause to note that the chart Cohen himself provides shows increases in rural-focused giving from 2004 through 2007, with a precipitous drop-off in 2008. Could 2008 have been an outlier, a fluke, rather than evidence of a trend?

Lots more at the link, including a look at efforts by Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) and others to encourage more giving for rural development, top grant makers to this focus area, and reasons why foundations may be underserving rural America.

UPDATE: In comments, author Rick Cohen offers further evidence that the drop in giving to rural concerns is indeed a trend:

That’s not the third quarter of 2008, but all of 2008. But cut out 2008, and look at the numbers for 2004 through 2007 only. All foundation grantmaking grew during that period grew 38.36 percent, but rural development grantmaking grew only 26.64 percent. Rural development grantmaking was 0.29 percent of all foundation grantmaking in 2004 but fell to less than 0.27 percent of foundation grantmaking in 2007.

Advertisements

Entry filed under: General.

“Shy” Philanthropist Signs Giving Pledge Millionaire Wants to Play Billionaire

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rick Cohen  |  February 24, 2011 at 11:49 PM

    That’s not the third quarter of 2008, but all of 2008. But cut out 2008, and look at the numbers for 2004 through 2007 only. All foundation grantmaking grew during that period grew 38.36 percent, but rural development grantmaking grew only 26.64 percent. Rural development grantmaking was 0.29 percent of all foundation grantmaking in 2004 but fell to less than 0.27 percent of foundation grantmaking in 2007.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


About GC

News about philanthropy and the charitable instinct

Categories


%d bloggers like this: