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Weinberg foundation to give out $100 million each of the next two years

The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation announced Wednesday that it would give out more than $200 million over the next two years, including some $21 million in new grants over that time period.

The Baltimore-based foundation, which traditionally gives more money to Jewish causes than any other foundation does, will also start accepting letters of inquiry on Aug. 3 from grant seekers who were not previously receiving money from the foundation.

This ends a period dating back to last November when the foundation said that it would not accept any new letters of inquiry.

But the foundation’s giving is still down, according to its president, Rachel Monroe.

Last year, Weinberg gave out $106 million. Over the next two years it will average $100 million. If the foundation had stayed on the growth pace it set before the recession, its assets would have been worth $2.5 billion and it would have given out $125 million in 2009.

Over the next two years it will have only $21 million available for new grantees. The other $179 million is designated for pre-existing multi-year grants.

The foundation said that it would honor all pre-existing grants.

“The cut is really related to shrinkage in the asset base due to the overall asset value,” Monroe told The Fundermentalist in an e-mail Tuesday. “That said, we are only down 25%, versus many other foundations which unfortunately are closer to 40% down. How did we do this? 40% of the Foundation’s asset base is diversified with active real estate holdings in the State of Hawaii.”

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