Share

Downturn bites for endowed charities

Downturn bites for endowed charities
News

Downturn bites for endowed charities

Governance | Gareth Jones | 7 Jul 2010

The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the Church Commissioners for England have all suffered sharp income falls in their most recent financial years, down 63, 29 and 16 per cent respectively.

Released this week, Esmée Fairbairn’s accounts for the year ending 31 December 2009 show a fall in total income of £20.3m to £11.7m, almost entirely due to a big drop in investment income.

Earlier this month, the Church Commissioners for England revealed that in the same period its investment income, which represents its only source of funding, dropped by £27.6m to £145.5m.

They follow the trend set by the Wellcome Trust, whose year-end 30 September 2009 accounts show total income down by £87.9m to £217.1m, mostly due to a fall in dividends and interest of £89m to £166.1m.

Foundation maintains “defensive portfolio”

Esmée Fairbairn’s portfolio underperformed its blended benchmark by 5.6 per cent, an annual total return in 2009 of 12.8 per cent not matching the benchmark of 18.4 per cent.

The Foundation’s report blames “the more defensive positioning” of its investments, and says the biggest absolute losses and market underperformance came from its direct property investments, “which not only took longer to rally but the nature of which amplified the losses”.

It says that given continuing market uncertainty the Foundation has continued to hold a defensive portfolio, and, in particular, maintained high cash balances.

The Foundation maintained its expenditure around the £28m mark.

The Church Commissioners, meanwhile, were hit by their listed UK equities, with income falling by £27.6m on the previous year to £46.9m.

The Wellcome Trust saw its UK equity income rise but this was the only one of its seven main categories to do so (see table).

Wellcome Trust's dividend and interest breakdown  
 2009 (£m)2008 (£m)
 Dividends from quoted UK equities 45.7 42.2
 Dividends from quoted overseas equities 90.0 97.2
 Interest from UK fixed interest securities 8.3 52.8
 Interest from overseas fixed interest securities 4.6 25.2
 Income from unquoted investments 14.2 25.3
 Interest on cash and cash deposits 3.3 6.0
 Securities lending income 0.0 6.4

Portfolio values recovery

On the bright side, Esmée Fairbairn saw an increase in the value of its investment assets of 10 per cent to £815.7m, while the Church Commissioners' were up 13 per cent to £4.6bn.

The Wellcome Trust’s however, perhaps reflecting its earlier year-end, fell by 0.4 per cent to £13.9bn.

Comments

[Cancel] | Reply to:

Close »

Community Standards

The civilsociety.co.uk community and comments board is intended as a platform for informed and civilised debate.

We hope to encourage a broad range of views, however, there are standards that we expect commentators to uphold. We reserve the right to delete or amend any comments that do not adhere to these standards.

We welcome:

  • Robust but respectful debate
  • Strongly held opinions
  • Intelligent relevant discussion
  • The sharing of relevant experiences
  • New participants

We will not publish:

  • Rude, threatening, offensive, obscene or abusive language, or links to such material
  • Links to commercial organisations or spam postings. The comments board is not an advertising platform
  • The posting of contact details for yourself or others
  • Comments intended for malicious purpose or mindless abuse
  • Comments purporting to be from another person or organisation under false pretences
  • Gratuitous criticism, commentary or self-promotion
  • Any material which breaches copyright or privacy laws, or could be considered libellous
  • The use of the comments board for the pursuit or extension of personal disputes

Be aware:

  • Views expressed on the comments board are left at users’ discretion and are in no way views held or supported by Civil Society Media
  • Comments left by others may not be accurate, do not rely on them as fact
  • You may be misunderstood - sarcasm and humour can easily be taken out of context, try to be clear

Please:

  • Enjoy the opportunity to express your opinion and respect the right of others to express theirs
  • Confine your remarks to issues rather than personalities

Together we can keep our community a polite, respectful and intelligent platform for discussion.

Tags

Free eNews

Uniformed youth groups benefit from £10m in bank fines

21 Aug 2014

The Scouts and Guides are among those who will benefit from the new £10m Uniformed Youth Social Action...

Awema charity boss claims he paid back £100,000 and denies dishonesty

21 Aug 2014

A former charity boss accused of fraud said he paid back more than £100,000, and denies any wrongdoing,...

Big Society Network parent charity applies to wind itself up

20 Aug 2014

Society Network Foundation, the charitable parent of Big Society Network, has applied to Companies House...

Macmillan: We did not hijack #icebucketchallenge

21 Aug 2014

Macmillan has hit back against accusations on social media that it has hijacked #icebucketchallenge, saying...

Smart wristbands aim to increase charity giving

20 Aug 2014

A new wristband that will enable people to make faster donations with just a tap of a smartphone, is...

Pallotta plans three-day march in US to scale up Charity Defense Council

19 Aug 2014

Dan Pallotta, the US fundraiser and charity sector activist, is organising a three-day march in the States...

Macmillan: We did not hijack #icebucketchallenge

21 Aug 2014

Macmillan has hit back against accusations on social media that it has hijacked #icebucketchallenge, saying...

Smart wristbands aim to increase charity giving

20 Aug 2014

A new wristband that will enable people to make faster donations with just a tap of a smartphone, is...

National Trust to develop new website in £2m digital upgrade

15 Aug 2014

The National Trust has budgeted £2m to update its digital services, including a new website and mobile...

Join the discussion

Twitter
 
Training

Attending our one day courses is a highly effective way of ensuring new and existing trustees fully understand their role, responsibilities and liabilities.

>> Find out more <<