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Giving by family foundations increases to £1.63bn

Howard Lake | 2 July 2014 | News

UK family charitable foundations donated £1.63 billion last year, the largest total since the Family Foundation Giving Trends series began tracking them in 2008.
The sixth annual edition of Family Foundation Giving Trends reports that donations have increased despite the fact that family foundations have experienced a drop in total income of 18.6% in real terms, almost double that experienced by the broader charitable foundation sector. This might be because family foundations are twice as reliant on income from investments as other charitable foundations.
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Family foundations contribute almost three fifths of foundation giving by value – 59%. In the US it is 42%.
Similarly the report reveals that last year there was a 35% drop in donations being made into new and existing family foundations. This could threaten future levels of grantmaking.
Family foundation giving is still the dominant form of foundation giving, accounting for 59% of all foundation giving by value.

Top family foundations

The top five family foundations by giving are:

  1. Wellcome Trust
  2. Gatsby Charitable Foundation
  3. Leverhulme Trust
  4. Wolfson Foundation
  5. Garfield Weston Foundation


Total family foundation income 2013

Total family foundation income 2013



How to move from Fundraiser to CEO - by Bruce Tait. Upwards white arrow on blue background.

About Family Foundation Giving Trends

Family Foundation Giving Trends is produced by Professor Cathy Pharoah of the Centre for Giving and Philanthropy at the Cass Business School. It is published by the Association of Charitable Foundations, with substantial support from the Pears Foundation. Data for the report was provided by Charity Financials. 
It details the top 100 family foundations in the UK by giving, with analysis and comment on their giving, and the nature of their contribution to UK civil society.
A ‘family foundation’ is one that has been founded through family, individual or family business wealth.
Professor Pharoah also produces a sister report, Foundation Giving Trends, which examines the broader foundation sector.
She  said:

“Our findings shine a light on the continued importance of family wealth to civil society, with spending reaching an all-time high and evidence of dynamism to be found in the range of new entrants into the top 100. However, the report suggests a possible boom in building foundations and income just before the recession. Can such expansion now be maintained through a time of lower growth and investment returns?”