Grants from charitable foundations reach record high

They rose by 12 per cent to £2.9bn last year, according to a report published today by the Association of Charitable Foundations

The ACF report
The ACF report

Grants given out by the largest UK charitable foundations grew by 12 per cent to a record high of £2.9bn last year, according to a new report.

Foundation Giving Trends 2017, published today by the Association of Charitable Foundations, examines the grant-giving activities of the 300 largest UK charitable foundations in 2015/16.

The report shows that the Wellcome Trust remains the largest foundation by far, with grants of £711.7m made in 2015/16 from assets totalling £19.6bn.

If the Wellcome Trust is excluded from the figures, the rate of growth rises to 14.5 per cent on the previous year.

The rise comes on the back of a 5.5 per cent increase in investment income and a 1.9 per cent rise in voluntary income across the top 300 foundations, the report says.

This means that the amount given out in grants by the leading foundations has grown by more than £560m since 2012/13.

The value of the total assets owned the top 300 foundations was up by 9.8 per cent on the previous year to almost £60bn.

The research was led by Cathy Pharoah of the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School and Catherine Walker of the consultancy The Researchery.

Keiran Goddard, head of external affairs at the ACF, said the report showed the "flexibility, robustness and effectiveness of the foundation model".

Top 10 foundations by grants made in 2015/16

Wellcome Trust £711.7m

Children’s Investment Fund Foundation £148.9m

Leverhulme Trust £107.2m

Comic Relief £102.4m

Garfield Weston Foundation £58.4m

BBC Children in Need Appeal £53.7m

Westminster Foundation £41.9m

Gatsby Charitable Foundation £41.5m

Esmée Fairbairn Foundation £34.8m

Lloyd’s Register Foundation £31.9m

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