The 2012 Family Foundation Giving Trends

December 2012

The 2012 Family Foundation Giving Trends assessed the big UK 100 family foundations, comparing trends with US counterparts. In the last year giving via family foundations made about eight per cent of private giving in the UK, whilst the total giving of the largest 100 UK family foundations was £1.33 billion.

The main sectors to benefit from foundation giving in the last year were health followed by education, arts and culture, social welfare, and human rights/social justice in that order.

Once the biggest trust, Wellcome Trust, was excluded from the entire results (showing an overall fall of 1.8 per cent in giving) the results presented a buoyant picture of the state of foundations giving.

For the rest of the foundations there was a healthy 6.2 per cent rise in giving. The research also found that foundations, many of them historic, were facing a changing social and economic landscape of much complexity and were seeking new ways of maximising the benefit of their work.  Collaboration with other charity organisations was one of the trends identified amongst foundations as they try to maximise their impact in the face of reduced public funding. With over half revealing they think foundations will form more funding partnerships in future with other charitable foundations. Social investment models were also being considered by some foundations. It seems an increasingly big challenge for foundations is where to direct their funds for maximum impact and what type of funding investment model to choose.


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This report is tagged under:

  • Family philanthropy
  • Philanthropy stats & trends
  • Trusts & foundations
  • Understanding philanthropy