Grants given out by the largest UK charitable foundations grew by 12 per cent to a record high of £2.9bn last year, according to a new report.
The report shows that the Wellcome Trust remains the largest foundation by far, with grants of £711.7m made in 2015/16 from assets totalling £19.6bn.
If the Wellcome Trust is excluded from the figures, the rate of growth rises to 14.5 per cent on the previous year.
The rise comes on the back of a 5.5 per cent increase in investment income and a 1.9 per cent rise in voluntary income across the top 300 foundations, the report says.
This means that the amount given out in grants by the leading foundations has grown by more than £560m since 2012/13.
The value of the total assets owned the top 300 foundations was up by 9.8 per cent on the previous year to almost £60bn.
Keiran Goddard, head of external affairs at the ACF, said the report showed the "flexibility, robustness and effectiveness of the foundation model".
Top 10 foundations by grants made in 2015/16
Wellcome Trust £711.7m
Leverhulme Trust £107.2m
Comic Relief £102.4m
Garfield Weston Foundation £58.4m
BBC Children in Need Appeal £53.7m
Westminster Foundation £41.9m
Gatsby Charitable Foundation £41.5m
Esmée Fairbairn Foundation £34.8m
Lloyd’s Register Foundation £31.9m