Giving Trends - Top 100 Family Foundations - 2015 report

The latest Family Foundation Giving Trends report provides an update on annual charitable income and spending by the UK’s top 100 family foundations in 2013/2014. The findings show the enduring appeal and value of the foundation model.

Almost three quarters of top UK family foundations have either the founder donors, other family members or both on their boards, underlining the extent of active family involvement in UK charitable funding.

The finding has emerged from the latest in a series of annual research reports, Family Foundation Giving Trends 2015; led by Professor Cathy Pharoah of the Centre for Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School, published by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), and substantially supported by the Pears Foundation.

The research analyses the giving of the top 150 family foundations, which collectively contribute 56% of all foundation giving by value. It reveals that in 2013/14, out of total family foundation giving of £1.38bn, £678m was overseen by boards containing family trustees. Similarly out of total family foundation assets of £41.5bn, almost half was under management by a board including family members or living settlors.

Reflecting the health of the wider foundation sector, family foundation giving was shown to be relatively buoyant, with grant-making increasing by 4.2%.

The findings also show the enduring appeal and value of the foundation model, with family foundation assets rising by a real 14% and new gifts into family foundations via business donations and legacies growing by a real 20%, outstripping the rate seen in foundations more generally.

As well as ranking the Top 150 Family Foundations by the value of their grant-making and providing a fresh insight into the size, shape and nature of their contribution to UK civil society, the report also details the dynamic and changing nature of the sector. The overall picture that emerges is of a diverse set of highly engaged philanthropists, dedicated to the foundation model as the most transparent and intentional way of converting private wealth into public benefit.

Professor Cathy Pharoah, said:

"For the first time our foundation research shows the ongoing importance of family wealth, family traditions, and family vision in the UK's charitable giving; with many individuals taking a strong hand in strategy. These findings should be noted by any policy-makers or legislators inclined to mechanistic thinking: independence and individualism, often expressed through the family, continues to play an important role in UK philanthropy."

The 2015 report is available for download at the link below.


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