Ohio’s Grantmaking Outlook is Cautiously Optimistic
I’m typically a “glass is half-full” kind of person, so forgive me if I’m excited about the results of our annual grantmaking outlook survey. Maybe it’s because I’m aware of the challenges facing our state and communities – whether they’re gauged by unemployment figures, government deficits or food pantry use – that I’m happy for ANY good news. But, for a second year in a row, the message from funders who completed our outlook survey is cause for cautious optimism. Thirty-nine percent of those completing the survey said they will increase grant dollars going out to nonprofits this year, and another 39 percent said they will hold dollars level with last year.
Two short years ago, as we were in steeped in recession, the news was far from good, as foundations saw assets erode alongside the stock market plunge. Now, 61 percent said their assets increased last year, albeit by modest numbers. Still, it’s positive movement that bodes well for future giving.
The increased assets and grants are not the full story of this year’s survey results and report. I was just as pleased to see a lengthy list of how funders are going beyond the dollars to help nonprofits weather the economic storm: those who help craft fundraising plans and suggest other funders to approach; those whose employees volunteer on countless nonprofit boards, build houses and tutor children; those who are streamlining their grant processes to reduce the burden on nonprofits; and the list goes on. The dedication and commitment of Ohio philanthropy is as strong as ever and evident in communities small, large and in-between. I hope you’ll read the full report online.
Claudia Y.W. Herrold
Vice President, Communications & Public Policy