The economic recession has taken its toll on charitable giving in Florida, according to a new report by Florida Philanthropic Network, Florida’s statewide association of grantmakers. The report confirms that the combined charitable giving of individuals, foundations and corporations in Florida dropped 8.6 percent between 2008 and 2009, which follows a double-digit decline the previous year. However, the state’s charitable giving is estimated to have stabilized in 2010 and rebounded slightly in 2011.

“The recession appears to have had an even greater negative impact on charitable giving in Florida than in the country as a whole,” said David Biemesderfer, president and CEO of Florida Philanthropic Network, a statewide association of foundations, corporate givers and other grantmaking organizations. “This is not surprising when you consider that Florida was hit harder by the recession than most other states. But there are early signs that Florida’s charitable giving picture is improving.”

The FPN report provides an updated portrait of the size and scope of charitable giving in Florida. Individuals, foundations and corporations in Florida gave $14.2 billion in charitable contributions in 2009, which is down significantly from pre-recession levels. But the state’s charitable giving is expected to have grown by more than $1.1 billion through 2011. Three-quarters of the contributions came from individual Floridians and nearly 10 percent came from the state’s foundations and corporate givers.

The report shows that Florida is home to more than 4,100 active charitable foundations and corporate grantmakers, which together gave nearly $1.37 billion to charity in 2009 and an estimated $1.26 billion in 2010. In a positive sign for future charitable giving, Florida foundations’ charitable assets grew 6.9 percent in 2009 to more than $18.8 billion.

Florida foundations devoted the largest share of their grant dollars – 24.1 percent – to public affairs/society benefit nonprofits, according to the report. The next-largest share of the state’s foundation grant dollars went to nonprofits focused on human services (16.8 percent), health (16.6 percent) and arts & culture (14.2 percent). More than half – 56.9 percent – of Florida foundations’ grant dollars went to nonprofit organizations located outside the state, which is down from the previous year.

The report, “Giving in Florida: The State of Philanthropy in the Sunshine State, 2012 Edition,” can be downloaded from FPN’s website at, where people can also download the companion “2012 Florida Grantmaking Outlook Report.”

Florida Philanthropic Network is a statewide association of grantmakers working to build philanthropy to build a better Florida. FPN’s members are private independent, corporate and family foundations, community foundations and corporate giving programs – from Miami to Jacksonville; Naples to the Panhandle – who hold over $6 billion in assets (excluding members located outside Florida) and invest over $420 million annually to improve the quality of life for our residents. Our members share a commitment to promoting philanthropy, fostering collaboration and advancing public policy by Florida, in Florida.

For more on grants and grant writing, visit Grant Pros.


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