Giving by the nation's over 66,000 grantmaking foundations slipped 0.4 percent to $30.3 billion in 2003, following a 0.2 percent dip in the prior year. Nonetheless, foundations in the Northeast raised their level of giving 3.1 percent in the latest year, led by strong growth in funding by foundations based in Maine and New Jersey. Similarly, grantmakers in the West managed a 1.3 percent increase in their giving, buoyed by gains in giving by foundations in Wyoming and California. In contrast, Midwestern and Southern foundations registered declines of 5.4 percent and 2.4 percent, respectively. By share of overall giving, the Northeast continued to lead, followed by the South. The West ranked third, surpassing the Midwest for the first time on record.
While the pattern of giving was mixed, foundation assets rebounded in all four regions. This upturn reflected the stock market recovery and the improved economic climate. Overall, foundation assets rose 9.5 percent in 2003, ending two consecutive years of decline. Still, total assets remained below the peak level reached in 2000.