Donors Forum of Wisconsin: Releases premiere Wisconsin State of Philanthropy Report

For more information, contact:

Deborah Fugenschuh, President

759 N. Milwaukee Street, Suite 515

Milwaukee, WI 53202

P: (414) 270-1978 F: (414) 270-1979

[email protected]

MILWAUKEE—The first-ever Wisconsin State of Giving Report released today by the Donors Forum of Wisconsin highlights the changes in the state’s philanthropic landscape. At a time with unprecedented economic difficulties facing our state, this report provides critical benchmarks for grantmakers and information on giving in Wisconsin.

The State of Philanthropy Report, generously underwritten by Northwestern Mutual Foundation, includes a detailed look at grantmaking in Wisconsin. The first local publication of its kind, this report not only includes totals for giving in Wisconsin, but includes a deeper look into how philanthropy in Wisconsin is practiced.

“Amid the global economic uncertainty we are facing, it is important that we keep track of trends that affect philanthropic giving,” said Donors Forum of Wisconsin President Deborah Fugenschuh. “This report brings together data about Wisconsin’s philanthropic sector and shows the tremendous impact of grantmaking in our local communities.”

Each year grants paid each year by Wisconsin foundations total in the hundreds of millions of dollars and overall giving in the state is counted in the billions of dollars. Among the study’s key findings:

* In 2007 there were nearly 1,300 foundations in Wisconsin, with combined assets of over $7.25 billion.

* Foundation grants in 2007 totaled $497 million, a 10 percent increase from 2006.

* Total charitable giving in 2006 totaled over $3.5 billion, a 12 percent increase in total charitable giving from 2005.

* Assets and grants paid by foundations have been increasing on average each year; assets by an average of 5.7 percent per year and grants by an average of 4.7 percent per year.

* Over two-thirds of Wisconsin foundation grants in 2007 came from foundations located in Milwaukee County. Additionally, the Greater Milwaukee area accounts for two-thirds of the state’s foundation assets, and for just over half of the number of foundations.

In addition to these findings, nearly 90 percent of survey respondents reported their assets dropped in the last 12 months and over half of the grantmakers predicted a decrease in grant funding in 2009. Based on the survey results, it is projected that grantmaking budgets will decrease more significantly in 2010 than they will in 2009.

Although some steep decreases in assets are reducing their resources, Wisconsin grantmakers reported on diverse and significant measures they are implementing to preserve their commitments to the nonprofits they support.

“Across Wisconsin, our communities rely upon nonprofits that meet a variety of needs, and in turn, those agencies need funders that believe in their work,” said Daniel Bader president of the Helen Bader Foundation. “This report not only takes a snapshot of foundations today, but is a call for additional funders to step in and support the causes that matter to them.”

The report also outlines specific ways that Wisconsin’s philanthropic and nonprofit communities are working together to navigate this new territory and meet needs in the community.

The full report is available on the Donors Forum website,

The Donors Forum of Wisconsin is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership association of grantmakers working together to support and promote effective philanthropy in Wisconsin. For 30 years, the Donors Forum has been Wisconsin’s premier resource for philanthropy, offering opportunities for networking, professional development, community leadership and knowledge. DFW is a growing statewide network of over 130 grantmaking organizations that are committed to improving the quality of life in Wisconsin.