There’s no question that 2020 has brought about many unexpected events: a pandemic, politics and natural disasters. Millions of Americans have been affected, with these recent events uncovering glaring inequities in institutions and society. While a continuing myriad of unfortunate events is occurring in our state and country, private and community foundations are stepping to the forefront of the solution by providing needed resources and funding.

According to a recent report that surveyed 250 community foundations, giving in 2020 is exceeding many budgets – with 60% of organizations increasing their spending by an average of 17%.  An estimated 25% of this giving is related to the pandemic and the economic fallout of the nationwide business shutdowns. This report was compiled by the Council on Foundations, Dalberg Advisors and Philanthropy California.

Supporting the Community Through Charitable Giving

Where is this charitable spending going? It is estimated that less than a third of the spending is dedicated to health care costs. Instead, higher priorities are focused on community building and broader economic recovery.

86% of the organizations that participated in the survey indicated they were implementing flexible practices for grant making for existing grantees. Other new investment practices are focused on supporting racial equity and mission-related investments.

Nearly half of the organizations stated that racial equity was their primary focus. Reported numbers show that organizations are spending an average of 16% on giving for racial-equity causes.  Strengthening the foundation of the family is another common priority among private foundations and nonprofits.


The hashtag #BuildBackBetter shows how the US philanthropic sector is working together to respond to the 2020 crisis. The sector is moving to increasing nonprofit resources, ensuring their priorities are focused on the right causes and concurrently improving internal operations.

Despite the challenges we’ve faced this year, there are numerous opportunities to strengthen the community and build a better world for future generations. How is your organization implementing new strategies to contribute to these efforts?

If you want the mission of your organization to make a more substantial impact, Mirenda & Associates offers the assistance you need. We specialize in nonprofit board training and governance, giving you the resources needed to move your nonprofit organization forward in a powerful way. Call to learn more about our expert training and support.