Research, Data, & Reports

U.S. Foundation Funding for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Infrastructure

Publication date: 
November, 2018
The Foundation Center, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

We are part of a complex ecosystem of organizations working to enable, strengthen and evolve the work of philanthropy, nonprofits, and civil society around the world.

With support from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Foundation Center developed a framework to map the composition of and support for the ecosystem of infrastructure organizations. This new study spans 12 years and analyzes 21,148 infrastructure-related grants made by 881 funders to 511 organizations.

Key Findings include:

  • Funding for infrastructure accounted for less than 1 percent of total giving by U.S. foundations. The overall share of giving for infrastructure declined from 0.86 percent of total giving in 2004 to 0.59 percent in 2015.
  • While overall giving by U.S. foundations grew 66 percent from 2004 to 2015, infrastructure-related giving grew just 25 percent.
  • Nonprofit-focused organizations received the most funding and experienced the most growth, compared to philanthropy-focused and multi-sector infrastructure group.