Grants to U.S. rural-based organizations accounted for 5.5 percent of the real value of domestic grants by large foundations during 2005 to 2010, with a slight downward trend over the period. If grants to urban-based organizations for rural development, rural health, and agriculture are included, the estimated rural share of large-foundation grants increases to 6.2 percent. Using a random sample of 200 large-foundation grants in 2010 and excluding grants that served both urban and rural people, the share of these grants that primarily benefited rural people was 6.3 percent. Data on grants by smaller foundations reveal that 7.5 percent of the value of these grants in 2005 and 7.0 percent in 2009 was to rural-based organizations. Considering that the rural share of the U.S. population was 19 percent in 2010, these estimates suggest an urban focus of foundation grants. A similar conclusion is suggested by the geographic distribution of grants across counties. The average real value of grants from large foundations to organizations based in nonmetro counties from 2005 to 2010 was about $88 per capita (in 2010 dollars), less than half the average given to organizations in metro counties. The analysis found that differences in educational attainment and in the capacity of local nonprofit organizations account for a substantial share of the variation across counties in grants per capita. Other trends and patterns of foundation grants are also discussed in the report.


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