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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.

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infographic of 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.

Key Findings

  • Total Ohio giving in 2019 saw a 2.8% increase over 2018 giving numbers, totaling $1.96 billion in annual foundation giving. This is an upward trend that has continued over the past three years.
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  • Private foundation giving makes up just over half of all foundation giving (56%), and their giving was down 3.5% over the previous year. The vast majority of foundations in Ohio are private foundations (89%).
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  • Community foundation giving makes up nearly a third of all foundation giving (29%). Their giving was up 6%. Additionally, corporate foundation giving was up 24%.
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  • Giving by public charity grantmakers, United Ways, federated funds and other charitable organizations saw a 9% increase. Ohio has a robust network of United Ways that support nonprofits but giving was down 8% for the 65 local and regional United Ways.
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  • The total gifts that Ohio foundations received was down 14% in 2019 and totaled $1.6 billion. Private foundation gifts saw the largest decrease, which was a 33% dip. These gifts totaled $667 million. To put this in perspective, community foundations received $676 million in giving, which was a 7% increase. Corporate foundations also saw an increase of 9.5% and these gifts totaled $231 million.
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  • This year, our analysis shows that the number of foundations in Ohio increased 12%, totaling 3,978 foundations. The number of Ohio foundations has remained steady over the past four years, and the reason for the substantial increase is likely due to a new change in how our data sources count funders. In previous years, only funders that had a total giving of more than $0 were included. This new calculation does not impact total giving numbers, but it’s the likely reason for the increase in the number of Ohio funders and assets.

About this Report

This year’s snapshot of how Ohio gives relies on 2019 and 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 2019 for IRS data. Other sources, including Giving USA, Guidestar and the Foundation Center/Candid., together with our own research, provide more recent information.

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