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Private funding for the humanities takes myriad forms, but foundations are a substantial source of support for humanities activities in the United States. Data from the Foundation Center shed light on giving to the humanities by the 1,000 largest private and community foundations in the country.

IV-16a: Distribution of Foundation Grant Monies among Humanities Activity Types, 2012 (Millions of Current Dollars)

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Source: The Foundation Center, 2014. Based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file.

These indicators are based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file. For additional information on the activity categories used for this indicator, see the 2004 report from the Foundation Center, Foundation Funding for the Humanities, which describes an earlier American Academy of Arts and Sciences’–sponsored study. The information provided in this indicator is not comparable to the findings in the earlier study due to alterations in the population of organizations included. Although both private foundations and community foundations are types of not-for-profit organizations eligible for tax exemptions under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, they are viewed differently by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Private foundations receive almost all of their income from a narrow group of persons, such as single individuals, families, or corporations. Community foundations, in contrast, receive funds from a wide variety of donors and thus are considered by the IRS to be “public charities” (they must also meet the other criteria specified in section 509(a) of the tax code to be eligible for tax-exempt status). Historical activities, as defined by the Foundation Center, include historical societies, preservation activities, memorials, and commemorations. Museum activities exclude those performed by or within arts museums, unless the museum specialized in ethnic or folk art or the funding went specifically to fund an activity related to a humanities discipline. In contrast, the Humanities Indicators (HI) treats art museums, and thus all activities that occur within them, as humanities-oriented. For the types of entities treated as humanities organizations for the purposes of the HI, see "Revenues of Not-For-Profit Humanities Organizations" and the accompanying inventory of humanities organization types.

IV-16b: Value of Foundation Grants for Humanities Activities, 2002–2012 (Adjusted for Inflation)

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Source: The Foundation Center, 2014. Based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file. Funding amounts were adjusted for inflation using the GDP deflators published by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis.

These indicators are based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file. For additional information on the activity categories used for this indicator, see the 2004 report from the Foundation Center, Foundation Funding for the Humanities, which describes an earlier American Academy of Arts and Sciences’–sponsored study. The information provided in this indicator is not comparable to the findings in the earlier study due to alterations in the population of organizations included. Although both private foundations and community foundations are types of not-for-profit organizations eligible for tax exemptions under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, they are viewed differently by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Private foundations receive almost all of their income from a narrow group of persons, such as single individuals, families, or corporations. Community foundations, in contrast, receive funds from a wide variety of donors and thus are considered by the IRS to be “public charities” (they must also meet the other criteria specified in section 509(a) of the tax code to be eligible for tax-exempt status). Historical activities, as defined by the Foundation Center, include historical societies, preservation activities, memorials, and commemorations. Museum activities exclude those performed by or within arts museums, unless the museum specialized in ethnic or folk art or the funding went specifically to fund an activity related to a humanities discipline. In contrast, the Humanities Indicators (HI) treats art museums, and thus all activities that occur within them, as humanities-oriented. For the types of entities treated as humanities organizations for the purposes of the HI, see "Revenues of Not-For-Profit Humanities Organizations" and the accompanying inventory of humanities organization types.

IV-16c: Number of Foundation Grants for Humanities Activities, 2002–2012

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Source: The Foundation Center, 2014. Based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file.

These indicators are based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file. For additional information on the activity categories used for this indicator, see the 2004 report from the Foundation Center, Foundation Funding for the Humanities, which describes an earlier American Academy of Arts and Sciences’–sponsored study. The information provided in this indicator is not comparable to the findings in the earlier study due to alterations in the population of organizations included. Although both private foundations and community foundations are types of not-for-profit organizations eligible for tax exemptions under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, they are viewed differently by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Private foundations receive almost all of their income from a narrow group of persons, such as single individuals, families, or corporations. Community foundations, in contrast, receive funds from a wide variety of donors and thus are considered by the IRS to be “public charities” (they must also meet the other criteria specified in section 509(a) of the tax code to be eligible for tax-exempt status). Historical activities, as defined by the Foundation Center, include historical societies, preservation activities, memorials, and commemorations. Museum activities exclude those performed by or within arts museums, unless the museum specialized in ethnic or folk art or the funding went specifically to fund an activity related to a humanities discipline. In contrast, the Humanities Indicators (HI) treats art museums, and thus all activities that occur within them, as humanities-oriented. For the types of entities treated as humanities organizations for the purposes of the HI, see "Revenues of Not-For-Profit Humanities Organizations" and the accompanying inventory of humanities organization types.

IV-16d: Distribution of Foundation Grants among Humanities Activity Types, 2002–2012

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Source: The Foundation Center, 2014. Based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file.

These indicators are based on the Foundation Center’s FC 1000 data set, which includes all grants of $10,000 or more awarded to organizations by a set of 1,000 of the largest U.S. private and community foundations by total giving. For community foundations, only discretionary and donor-advised grants are included. Grants to individuals are not included in the file. For additional information on the activity categories used for this indicator, see the 2004 report from the Foundation Center, Foundation Funding for the Humanities, which describes an earlier American Academy of Arts and Sciences’–sponsored study. The information provided in this indicator is not comparable to the findings in the earlier study due to alterations in the population of organizations included. Although both private foundations and community foundations are types of not-for-profit organizations eligible for tax exemptions under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax code, they are viewed differently by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Private foundations receive almost all of their income from a narrow group of persons, such as single individuals, families, or corporations. Community foundations, in contrast, receive funds from a wide variety of donors and thus are considered by the IRS to be “public charities” (they must also meet the other criteria specified in section 509(a) of the tax code to be eligible for tax-exempt status). Historical activities, as defined by the Foundation Center, include historical societies, preservation activities, memorials, and commemorations. Museum activities exclude those performed by or within arts museums, unless the museum specialized in ethnic or folk art or the funding went specifically to fund an activity related to a humanities discipline. In contrast, the Humanities Indicators (HI) treats art museums, and thus all activities that occur within them, as humanities-oriented. For the types of entities treated as humanities organizations for the purposes of the HI, see "Revenues of Not-For-Profit Humanities Organizations" and the accompanying inventory of humanities organization types.

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