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Royal patronage helps charities boost awareness, says research

Royal patronage helps charities boost awareness, says research

The Queen’s patronage helps charities raise awareness of their work and is seen as having great value by the organisations she is associated with, research from The ’s Fund has revealed.

The new research report, “A Feast of Thanks: the Patron’s Lunch and the Value of Patronage”, launched today by The Patron’s Fund and undertaken by Cass CCE and BWB, looks at the impact of the Queen’s patronage on charities. It is the first time the value of royal patronage has been evaluated, according to the Fund.

Cass and BWB surveyed 220 UK-based charities (all beneficiaries of the Queen’s patronage) who attended The Patron’s Lunch by questionnaire and telephone interview.

The findings show:

  • The Queen’s charities consider her patronage to be ‘unique.’ It is a ‘seal of approval, ‘a gold standard of trust, inspiration and recognition’
  • Organisations are immensely proud of the patronage – pride is felt amongst the charities’ staff, volunteers and beneficiaries
  • The Queen’s role as a volunteer is inspirational and sets a standard for UK volunteering. The Scouts Association said The Queen’s own dedication to community service ‘inspires the next generation of 573,000 UK members to a lifetime of service and volunteering’

In addition, organisations saw The Patron’s Lunch as a chance to thank their Patron, invite and thank donors and volunteers, to fundraise and to make valuable connections with other organisations.

  • 69% used The Patron’s Lunch to produce content for their own communications while the same percentage viewed the event as a chance to power their social media content strategy
  • 52% of those charities attended The Patron’s Lunch and invited their donors, while 87% invited volunteers and said that the opportunity to thank volunteers was very important

The report also includes recommendations for the future, such as:

  • Charities need a more proactive approach to build the patronage
  • To harness the value of their patronage, charities should pass their annual reports to the royal patron to keep her informed
  • To drive more active engagement, charities should select opportunities to provide relevant information, seek letters of support and even attendances and hosting opportunities
  • Buckingham Palace should consider what can be gained from convening the community of patron’s charities, whether virtually or in person as there are many benefits to be gained from collaboration

Sir Stuart Etherington, Chairman of the Patron’s Fund, said:

“The report shows what an amazing difference having the Queen as Patron can make to charities and volunteer organisations. It is clear royal patronage is invaluable and the report contains several important recommendations about developing this in the future.”



Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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