2015 Giving at Private & Family Foundations

2015 giving statistics for small private and family foundations are in, and they offer some interesting insights.

Private & Family Foundation Giving Strategies

Collectively they awarded more than 3.5 billion dollars in some 140,000 grants. The average award size fell between $15,000 and $20,000.

Reported grant-giving strategies:

  • 80% make grants to support general operations
  • 68% make multiyear grants
  • 64% report using the information received from grantees to inform future grant-making
  • 61% collaborate with other funders to increase their impact
  • 58% make capacity-building grants
  • 37% convene grantees or other organizations to broaden their scope
  • 28% make grants for advocacy work

Awards broken down by geographic scope:

  • 86% fund locally
  • 42% fund statewide
  • 37% fund nationally
  • 22% fund internationally

Concerns sited by Board members did not change dramatically; for the fourth year in a row board and generational succession was cited as the most important issue facing the foundation at 54%.  Other top concerns include:

  • 43% report a need for greater focus/impact in grant making
  • 33% worry about family/board dynamics
  • 32% report receiving too many good grant proposals to choose from
  • 29% worry about keeping their mission compelling for board members with divergent interests

Find the full report on Exponent Philanthropy’s website