The largest U.S. private and community foundations increased funding for all major subject areas in 2006, with a record 386 grants of $5 million or more helping to drive this growth. Overall, grant dollars rose 16.4 percent between 2005 and 2006 -- from $16.4 billion to $19.1 billion -- and six out of the 10 major fields posted double-digit gains. A jump in giving for global health and international development by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation made a substantial contribution to this upward trend. Yet excluding Gates, the other nearly 1,300 foundations in the sample still raised grant dollars by close to 12 percent.
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