Minnesota foundations and corporations expect to make modest increases in grant making during 2013, according to a survey released on Monday by the Minnesota Council on Foundations.

Grant makers, on average, said they would increase donations by 2 percent this year. That compares to a 1 percent hike in 2012.

While not exactly an explosion in philanthropy, it represents a steady climb out of the economic downturn, said council president Bill King.

"The good news is we're starting to see steady growth in giving,'' King said. "And when you look at the continued growth of assets, that's good news too.''

Fifty-six percent of the foundations surveyed expected their assets to rise in 2013. Another 33 percent expected them to remain the same. Eleven percent expected decreases.

All of this is good news for Minnesotans and their 5,000-strong nonprofit community, which relies on foundation financial support for their programs and services. Many are facing growing demands for their services at the same time they're grappling with cutbacks in government funding.

The MCN 2013 Outlook Report was based on a survey of 104 grant makers late last year. They represent just 7 percent of Minnesota grant makers but 75 percent of all state grant making ($1 billion) and 70 percent of Minnesota foundation assets ($11.8 billion).

The survey showed that roughly half of all grant makers expect their funding to remain the same in 2013, 39 percent expected it to increase and 13 percent to decrease.

Likewise, foundations did not expect to make dramatic changes in the areas they fund. Those areas include health, human services, education, arts and religion.

Education programs, however, could expect a little more sunlight this year. Twenty five of the 82 education funders responding to the survey plan to increase their giving.

To see the full report, go to www.mcf.org

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511