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How Ohio Gives

Ohio has a strong tradition of charitable giving, starting with the creation of the first community foundation in the world as well as thousands of private foundations, federated funds and corporations as well as millions of individuals. Each year, Philanthropy Ohio researches, analyzes and presents the most recent data on Ohio’s individual and organizational giving in our Ohio Gives report.

Ohio Gives Infographic

Ohio continues to have a strong tradition of charitable giving, and each year, Philanthropy Ohio researches, analyzes and presents the most current foundation giving data in our Ohio Gives report. 

Key Findings

The data shows that giving in 2020 was flat, just 1.3% less than in 2019, totaling $1.94 billion in foundation giving. The year 2020 is the first year since 2016 that foundation giving has not increased. In the prior year (2019), foundation giving was the highest it’s ever been at $1.96 billion.

Private foundation giving makes up just over half of all foundation giving (53%), and these foundations gave $1.04 billion in 2020, down 5% over the previous year. The vast majority of foundations in Ohio are private foundations, which make up 89% of all Ohio foundations. Meanwhile, community foundation giving makes up nearly a third of all foundation giving (32%). The state’s local and regional community foundations gave $616 million, up nearly 9%. Corporate foundation giving was down 6%, with corporate funders giving $266 million.

Likewise, foundation assets were flat in 2020, up less than 1%, totaling $30.2 billion. Assets have held steady, increasing nearly every year over the last decade. Remarkably, we are seeing an increase in the number of foundations whose assets are above $1 million. In last year’s report, we found that 96% of all foundations had assets below $1 million; this year, just 48% of Ohio foundations fall in the $1 million or less asset class. As is consistent with last year’s report, only 2% of foundations have more than $250 million in assets.

The number of Ohio foundations and the breakdown of foundations by type (community, corporate, private and other) has stayed essentially the same.

The total gifts that Ohio foundations received were down 5.3% in 2020 and totaled $1.52 billion. Private foundation gifts saw the most significant decrease, which was a 29% dip. These gifts totaled $472 million. Community foundations received $743 million in giving, which was a 10% increase. Corporate foundations also saw an increase of 20.8%, and these gifts totaled $279 million.

In addition to foundation giving, the Ohio Gives analysis found that giving from funders like public charity grantmakers, United Ways, federated funds and other charitable giving organizations saw a nearly 5% increase, totaling $433 million in giving. Ohio has a robust network of United Ways that support nonprofits. Giving was down 12% for the 65 local and regional United Ways, totaling $124 million, with the largest United Ways giving less. In contrast, the smaller United Ways gave more in 2020.

About this Report

This year’s snapshot of how Ohio gives relies on 2020 data from a variety of sources to demonstrate the strength of philanthropic giving in the state. Our analysis presents data from the most recent available year, which is 2020 for IRS data. Other sources include Giving USA, Guidestar and the Foundation Center/Candid.

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October 10

Philanthropy Forward '23

Philanthropy Forward '23 will convene at the Hilton Columbus Downtown from October 10 – 12, 2023 for the largest statewide gathering of philanthropy!