The other night Evelyn and I were watching the final episodes of Lost on hulu and there were an inordinate amount of commercials from foundations (including charitable organizations). Foundations for this cause, foundations for that cause. I got to thinking about it and thinking about the structures, total capital and funding of these foundations. I did some research and came up with some interesting answers.
Total Foundation Capital
I couldn’t come up with a good answer for how much capital is tied up by all the foundations.
According to wikipedia:
- The 27 wealthiest foundations in the world have a total capitalization of over 270 billion dollars.
- 18 of the 27 wealthiest foundations are in the U.S.
Let’s just say that this represents half of the capitalization of all the foundations which would bring the total over $540billion. Since this is a large number and most people (including myself) have trouble understanding just how large this is. Since this capitalization reflects world numbers I will break this down in world terms:
- $540billion will employ (worldwide) 1,646,341 (.02% of the world population) households at a median income of $8200 for 40 years.
- $540billion will employ (worldwide) 3,292,683 (.05% of the world population) households at a median income of $8200 for 20 years.
If we use the $270billion as what is the total foundation capitalization of U.S. foundations:
- $270billion will employ (U.S.) 312,688 (.1% of the U.S. population) households at a median income of $21,587 for 40 years.
- $270billion will employ (U.S.) 625,376 (.2% of the U.S. population) households at a median income of $21,587 for 20 years.
The Gross Domestic Product of the U.S. is $14.7trillion. The capitalization represents 1.84%.
The total money supply in the U.S. is $2.37trillion. The capitalization represents 11.39%. Which means that over 10% of our money supply is tied up in foundations.
If those funds were actually invested in people by creating jobs there would not be any financial crisis in the U.S. as almost all of that money would be circulating through the economy.
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