March 22, 2012

Popularity of Water Grants Slows After 2007 Peak

The number of foundations giving to water, sanitation, and hygiene causes tripled from 2003 to 2010, according to a new study by the Foundation Center.

The report also found that the amount of money going to those three causes was $72-million in 2010, growing from $5-million in 2003. But that is much less than in 2007, when giving was $122-million, the highest point on record. That was the year the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation committed $27-million over four years to the nonprofit International Development Enterprises. (Pledges were counted in the year they were made, not the year the money was given.)

In 2010, almost a third of the grants went to programs in Africa, while 18 percent went to Asia and another 9 percent to Central and South America. Giving to these causes, however, still made up only 1.7 percent of international grant making by U.S. foundations in 2010.