The newest generation of family foundations are focused on public policy issues, impact investing and expanding the diversity and inclusiveness of their boards and staff, according to a study by the National Center for Family Philanthropy and Bank of America.

The Trends 2020 study, which builds upon a similar study conducted in 2015 and is based on a survery of 500 randomly selected family foundations. found that education and poverty were the two top areas of focus for family foundations.

While 41% of foundations established before 1970 cite education as a top focus area, only 23% of those founded since 2010 are focused on education, the study found. In contrast, 28% of the oldest foundations cite poverty as a focus area, while 64% of the newest foundations do.

The newer family foundations are far more focused on economic inequality and/or basic needs funding, including poverty, hunger, homelessness and economic opportunity/inclusion, the study found. Economic opportunity is also a key priority for the youngest foundations, with 41% citing it, versus just 5% of those created before 1970.

“The Trends 2020 findings provide insights into how family foundations are adapting to changing times, values, and priorities as they strive for increased impact,” said Virginia Esposito, founder and president of the NCFP. “The study shows the growing influence of family foundations on philanthropy and offers families important guidance to improve their governance and operating practices and increase their effectiveness.”

Giving amounts, the study found, have increased over the past five years, with more family foundations now giving $500,000 or more annually (20% versus 11% in 2015). Twenty percent gave $1 million to $4.9 million, compared with 18% in 2015; and 3% gave $5 million to $10 million five years ago, compared with 4% in the latest study.

The report said that the giving levels and number of grants of family foundations formed before 1970 are notably higher than those formed since 2010.

There has been a dropoff in the number of grants given by family foundations, the study said. Fewer family foundations are awarding over 50 grants per year, with more foundations giving in the range of  25 to 49 grants. This, the study suggests, is an indication that foundations are becoming more selective with their giving.

The study also found that family foundations surveyed had the following characteristics:

• More than half of family foundations have multiple generations serving on their board, with one out of 10 having three or more generations. One-third have at least one member of the third generation on the board, while less than one in 10 have family members from the fourth generation or beyond;

• Family foundation board members have an average of 55% males and 45% females. Roughly one-third (35%) of foundation boards include at least one person of color, and 11% have at least one LGBTQ member;

• Nearly two in five (37%) family foundations plan to increase the number of younger family members serving on the board, and 28% say they will give younger family members a greater say in foundation operations and giving;

• Seventy-one percent of board positions are held by family members and 29% by non-family members. A higher portion of foundations formed since 2010 plan to increase non-family board membership (52%), increase racial diversity on the board (46%), expand staff (44%) and discuss the role of racial equity in their work (27%).

The survey, which was conducted by mail, online and telephone from February to May, yielded 517 responses from foundations with assets of at least $2 million or annual giving of at least $100,000.