Family foundation giving outpaces corporate and individual donations

14 Nov 2011 News

Family foundations have increased their giving by more than a quarter over the past five years, significantly outpacing the progress of donations from companies or individuals, according to a new report.

Cathy Pharoah

Family foundations have increased their giving by more than a quarter over the past five years, significantly outpacing the progress of donations from companies or individuals, according to a new report.

During the five years between 2005/06 and 2009/10, family foundations in the UK distributed £6.4bn to a wide range of causes, and over that time the amount these foundations gave increased by 27 per cent.

This increase compares to a decline of 0.4 per cent in the value of individual giving and also outstrips the growth in corporate philanthropy. Much of this growth was spurred by the largest of the family foundations; the 100 largest foundations gave £1.3bn in 2009/10, which accounted for 7 per cent of all giving in that year.

The Family Foundations Giving Trends 2011 report, which will be launched tonight at an event in London, says that in light of the growth and generosity of family foundations, there should be better support for individuals considering setting up these foundations.

Cathy Pharoah (pictured), author of the report and co-director of the ESRC Research Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy, said that the onus on growing family foundations is on a variety of parties.

“The report calls on charities, professional advisers and policy-makers to develop many more imaginative and supportive ways for potential philanthropists to share experiences and learning to ensure the bridge is crossed and more foundations are established,” she said.  

Charles Keidan, director of the Pears Foundation and co-author of the report, said that family foundations provide “a robust, consistent and vital form of giving”.

“Therefore they have an advantage in addressing social needs over ad hoc giving by wealthy individuals, which is more vulnerable to economic change,” he said. 

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