For more than a quarter-century, The Foundation Grants Index has served as one of the most valuable resources for determining the current funding priorities of the nation's largest foundations. Both the annual volume and the quarterly issues of the Grants Index enable grantseekers and grantmakers to identify a foundation's giving interests by subject and geographic focus, types of organizations funded, types of support awarded, and population groups served.

The Grants Index is most useful to grantseekers in developing an initial list of potential funding sources based on a foundation's giving program, its application procedures, and other relevant information. Grantseekers are strongly advised to read the section ''How to Use The Foundation Grants Index'' (following this introduction) before beginning their funding search.

GRANTS EXCEED 86,000;

VALUE OF GRANTS REACHES $7.9 BILLION; 1,016 FUNDERS INCLUDED

The Grants Index includes more than 86,000 grants of $10,000 or more, up 10.1 percent from the 78,000 reported in the last edition. A total of 1,016 funders are represented with combined giving of $7.9 billion, a gain of $600 million or 9.1 percent over last year. These 1,016 foundations represent only 2.4 percent of the total number of active, grantmaking foundations, yet their giving accounts for 57.4 percent of total grant dollars awarded by all U.S. independent, corporate, community, and grantmaking operating foundations in 1997.

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