Grantmaking by small private foundations increased by 24.5% in 2015 over the previous year, Foundation Source reported this week.
The organization, which provides support services for private foundations, based its findings on transactional data of 831 of its more than 1,200 clients.
All foundations in the sample had less than $50 million in assets, as do 98% of all private foundations in the U.S., according to Foundation Source.
The report said much of the increased grantmaking was attributable to the smallest foundations with $1 million to $10 million in assets. These granted 51.7% more last year than the year before.
Grants by foundations with less than $1 million grew by 8.2%, and by 7.7% for those in the $10 million to $50 million range.
“Given the robust performance of U.S. equity and fixed income markets in 2014, we had expected to see an uptick in giving in the following year, but an average increase of more than 50% among some of our clients was even higher than we might have predicted,” Foundation Source chief executive Robert Chartener said in a statement.
The report noted that private foundations are required to distribute 5% of their net average assets from the previous year. Foundation Source clients did better than that, giving away 7.4%.
Foundations with less than $1 million in assets distributed 11.9%, those in the $1 million to $10 million range paid out 8.5%, and the largest ones granted 6.4%.