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Organizations Gave Strongly, Survey Shows

February 21, 1986|DAVID JOHNSTON | Times Staff Writer

A survey of 82 leading foundations and corporations in Southern California shows they gave more than $230 million to nonprofit organizations in 1985.

The survey, the first such overview by the Southern California Assn. for Philanthropy, also said 82 of its 91 members who responded reported they have assets of $4.8 billion earmarked for benefiting charity.

California has long been regarded as a backwater of organized philanthropy, but the survey data show this is unwarranted, Lon Burns, the association's executive director, said Thursday.

The study found that $143 million in grants was awarded to nonprofit organizations in Southern California, $36.8 million to charities elsewhere in the state and $50.6 million to charities outside the state.

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The survey significantly understates foundation and corporate giving in Southern California. Five of the 16 largest foundations in Southern California--the twin Norton Simon Foundations in Pasadena, the Steele Foundation in Newport Beach, the Norris Foundation in Long Beach and the Leavey Foundation in Los Angeles--did not participate in the study, nor did hundreds of small family foundations.

Burns released the data during the association's annual conference. Retired banker David Rockefeller, in the keynote address Thursday night, called for a national crusade to increase charitable giving and volunteering.

Rockefeller spoke to a Sheraton Grand Hotel audience of more than 450, described by organizers as by far the largest group of business leaders and wealthy individuals ever assembled in the West to consider charitable activities.

The chief executive officers of nearly all major Southern California corporations with formal giving programs were guests at the dinner, which Philip Hawley, chief executive officer of Carter Hawley Hale, said was intended to encourage more active involvement in charities by corporate executives.

One-Third to Education

The association study showed that $79 million or more than one-third of all grants surveyed went to educational institutions. This is a significantly higher level of support for education than national studies have shown, reflecting the newness of many foundations and corporate giving programs in Los Angeles, the study said.

Just under $50 million went to support social services, $33 million was given for the arts and humanities, nearly $30 million went to health and human services and $17 million went to support civic affairs and community organizations.

The survey covered 36 private foundations, 25 corporate foundations, 16 corporations, one community foundation, one operating foundation and three other grant makers.

Together, foundation and corporate giving accounted for nearly 10% of the almost $75 billion that was given to charities nationwide last year, according to the American Assn. of Fund-Raising Counsel.

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