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President Trump gets a scolding from the Chief Justice. Also on our Thanksgiving Day rundown: groups target diabetes among the hungry; plus we will let you know how Small Business Saturday is helping to boost local economies.

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Big Foundations Make Money, but Charitable Giving is Down

Major foundations across the country have been making more money but their charity giving hasn't increased much. (V. Carter)
Major foundations across the country have been making more money but their charity giving hasn't increased much. (V. Carter)
January 17, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Foundations receiving tax-deductible contributions have been booming, but a new report says little of the new money pouring in makes its way to those working on social justice issues.

The National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy report says between 2003 and 2013, which included the Great Recession, the assets of the country's grant-making foundations increased by more than $320 billion.

But Ryan Schlegel, NCRP senior research and policy associate, and the report's author, says little of that new money reached those who suffered the most during that same decade.

"While grant-making from the 1,000 largest foundations in the United States for under-served communities grew by a little bit, about five percentage points, grant-making for social-justice philanthropy was stagnant," he explained.

The report defines "social justice organizations" as not-for-profits working for structural changes that will benefit those who are least well off politically, economically and socially.

Schlegel notes that, in the 11 years of the study, the 1,000 largest foundations gave an average of less than 31 percent of their total grant-making dollars to under-served communities.

"And social justice grant-making was still only about 10 percent, and both of those are pretty troublingly low when you consider the challenges that are facing those under-served communities and our nation as a whole," he added.

The NCRP report asks if foundations will continue to enjoy generous tax benefits in a political climate that's increasingly hostile to equal-rights issues, or if they can change course to better guard the public trust they've been given.

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IL