A new study sponsored by several major foundations (Gates, Packard, Hewlett, Irvine, and Robert Wood Johnson) found that among “engaged”* Americans, only:
- 43% can name a foundation on their first try
- 15% can cite an example of a foundation’s impact in their community
- 11% can cite an example of a foundation’s impact on an issue they care about
Individuals – who don’t have access to information about how well charitable programs are working – donate over $220 billion dollars to charity every year. Foundations retain expert staff to evaluate programs and make grant decisions. If foundations want to increase their relevance to individual citizens (and those citizens’ awareness of them), one good start might be addressing this information gap: using their expertise to help donors make more informed giving decisions.
* U.S. adults aged 18 and older who have held a leadership, committee or board level role in a group or organization working on a community or social issue within the past year.