June 23, 2011; Source: Bangor Daily News | Maine foundations trimmed their giving 6 percent between 2008 and 2009, according to a newly released report from the Maine Philanthropy Center. Although the poor economy contributed to the drop in giving from $133 million to $127 million from 327 charitable foundations in the state, Janet Henry, Maine Philanthropy Center president, thinks there’s another factor at work.
“It’s probably more a case of it being a spike in 2008 than it is a precipitous drop in 2009,” she said. She also predicts that giving will probably show a decline again in 2010 because of poor economic conditions. The report also shows that foundation assets, which had increased more than 200 percent since 2000, declined 10 percent between 2008 and 2009 — from $1.9 billion to $1.7 billion.
In addition, even though the state’s “most active foundations” saw their assets increase $300 million to $1.4 billion, they reduced overall giving from $91 million to $72 million. To Henry, another important finding in the report — and the opportunities it suggests — was the significant level of giving from national foundations to Maine. “Maine getting $11 million from national foundations is significant. What that tells us is there’s an increasing opportunity for local foundations to partner with statewide and national ones to better and more effectively spend their grant money.”—Bruce S. Trachtenberg