Report: Connecticut Giving By Individuals and Foundations Remained Steady in 2016, But Concerns Remain

Individuals and foundations in Connecticut gave $4.97 billion in charitable contributions during 2016, falling slightly from the prior year’s $5 billion giving total, according to the Connecticut Giving Report, an annual publication of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP). The decline in Connecticut individual giving occurred even as individual giving grew by 6% nationally. Yet, in 2016 more of the state’s taxpayers reported charitable contributions (35%) than taxpayers nationally (25%).

As in past years, the Connecticut Giving Report documents charitable giving by individuals, bequests, and foundations as well as philanthropic trends and insights. Individual donors comprised the majority of this giving, with individual donations and bequests totaling 72%, or $3.57 billion, of giving. Foundation giving made up 28%, or $1.4 billion, of all giving in 2016.


"Connecticut giving remained strong in 2016. And this is important because we know there are more present threats to a thriving nonprofit sector, like changes to the federal tax code and cutbacks from the state and federal government." said CCP President Karla Fortunato.

The report uncovered contrasting trends. From 2006-2016, individual giving increased by 18%, while the number of donors decreased by 10%. Connecticut nonprofits attracted over $400 million from out-of-state foundations, but a small number of nonprofits garnered much of that funding.

The report also noted:

•                    In 2016, $3.32 billion was provided by Connecticut individuals, a decrease of 4.5% from 2015 giving. Nationally, individual giving grew by 6%.

•                    Charitable giving increased across nearly all income levels. There was a decrease in giving

•                    only among those earning more than $1 million.


•                    In 2016, foundations in Connecticut provided $1.4 billion in grants to support programs and organizations in the state, around the country, and even internationally. This is an increase of 17% over Connecticut foundation giving in 2015.

•                    Out-of-state foundations contributed $417.3 million in grant dollars to Connecticut nonprofits.

This year's report includes a geographic breakout of foundation giving, a look at foundation giving by population, how much support for the state's nonprofits flows from out-of-state foundations, and a deeper dive into foundation giving to education.

The top 10 grantmakers were: Boehringer Ingelheim Cares Foundation 2. Dalio Foundation 3. GE Foundation; 4.Steven & Alexandra M Cohen Foundation;5. Stanley Family Foundation; 6. The ZOOM Foundation; 7. Hartford Foundation on for Public Giving; 8. The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven New Haven;9. Seedlings Foundation on New Haven; 10. Newman’s Own Foundation.

In 2015, the number of foundations operating in Connecticut reached a high of 1669. In 2016, that number fell to 1600. Reasons for the drop include: foundations moving to another state, foundations closing their doors, or foundations changing their nonprofit designation. The largest foundations in the state make up the majority of giving. About 95 foundations made grants totaling between $1 million and $5 million; these foundations provided over $190 million in grants.

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In 2016, as in past years, foundations focused their grantmaking most on the issues of health and education.  Together, grants made to these issue areas comprised over 50% of foundation giving. While health has consistently been among the top two issue areas, 2016’s health investments climbed 35% from $219 million in 2015 to $296 million in 2016. As investments in health and education grew, the next two issue areas – human services and arts and culture – saw a decline in support from 2015 to 2016.

This report covers giving for calendar year 2016, the most recent year available for comparable data. Every year the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) collects and analyzes information for this report from a variety of sources including: the University of Indiana's Giving USA, Guidestar, the IRS Statistics of Income Division (SOI), and data collected by the Foundation Center.

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy, the state's association of grantmakers, promotes and supports effective philanthropy for the public good. During 2019, CCP is celebrating 50 years of leadership in the philanthropic sector. CCP membership includes foundations, business and corporate giving programs, individual philanthropists, and those serving the philanthropic sector. CCP members annually grant more than $1.2 billion from assets of more than $8.2 billion.