WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (RNS)--African-Americans and Hispanics are more likely to contribute to charity than whites, but are asked to do so less often than their white counterparts, according to new national reports.

"Mainstream philanthropy has paid relatively little attention to people of color," concluded "Cultures of Caring," a report funded by the Ford Foundation, the Council on Foundations, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

Their findings were echoed by a report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"If solicitations serve to increase giving, then organizations are overlooking an important resource by not soliciting donations from African-Americans and Hispanics at great rates," the White House report said, agreeing with the foundations' conclusion that non-white donors most often "give large gifts primarily to organizations they know and trust."

"They are less likely to contribute to endowment campaigns, and instead focus their giving on religious institutions and organizations, or on efforts that meet pressing needs," the White House report said.

Most charitable organizations do not focus attention on issues important to many people of color, the report noted. In 1997, some 8 percent of all foundation grants went to issues important to many people of color.

In addition, the foundations' report found that few non-white people are on the staffs or governing boards of charitable groups and nonprofit organizations. Of the community foundations surveyed in the report, non-white people held 32 percent of staff positions and 24 percent of board of trustee positions.

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