Make the most of family foundations, says report

Charities should develop strategies to benefit from important new revenue from flourishing family foundation philanthropy, according to the author of a report that examines the giving patterns of the top 100 family foundations.

The report, Family Foundation Philanthropy, was written by Cathy Pharoah, visiting professor of charity funding at Cass Business School.

It was published this week in association with the school and compares giving in the US, the UK and the rest of Europe.

It found that the largest family charitable foundations in the UK gave about £908m in 2005/06, which equates to a third of all foundation giving.

It also revealed that UK foundation philanthropy, which is heavily dependent on the largest charitable family foundations, has lacked the sizeable number of medium to small family foundations that swell such giving in the US.

But the report indicates that small to medium-sized family foundations are flourishing.

"Charities should have a strategy about family foundations, which might mean working with other charities to set up family foundations," said Pharoah. "It could be an awareness-raising campaign or charities celebrating the increase in family foundations and raising the profile of this group."

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