The total value of grants from trusts and foundations has returned to pre-recession levels, according to a report from the Directory of Social Change.
The report, Sector Insight: Trusts and Foundations, is based on data from the almost 2,500 grant-making charities featured in the current edition of the DSC’s Directory of Grant Making Trusts 2014/15, published last year.
It shows that grants from trusts and foundations totalled £2.7bn in 2011/12, which is higher than the £2.6bn that was granted in 2005/06. However, grant spending in real terms was still slightly shy of pre-recession levels in 2011/12 – £2.7bn compared with £3bn in 2005/06.
The report says: "Encouragingly, we can see that grant-making among our sample actually increased beyond pre-recession levels in 2012, perhaps in response to increased demand from charities and community groups, while other sources of funding for these declined."
The report shows that 71 per cent of grants in 2012 were allocated to organisations based in the UK (£1.9bn), with the remainder awarded to overseas charities (£767m). Of the domestic grants, £1.3bn (69 per cent) was designated for distribution anywhere within the UK. The remaining £580m was distributed between England (£418m), Scotland (£80m), Wales (£65m) and Northern Ireland (£3m).
The report shows that Greater London received the largest share of the regional allocation (£108m) and the East Midlands the least (£21m). The north east received only £25m despite experiencing levels of deprivation similar to those in Greater London.
The report says: "The fact that Greater London has the largest density of registered charities while the north east region has by far the lowest density probably accounts for a large part of the disparity between the grant amounts these two regions receive from grant-makers, despite their similar levels of deprivation overall and also despite the fact that government spending cuts are likely to have left the north east more vulnerable than London."
The report says there are about 8,000 active grant-makers in the UK and the total value of grants awarded by these funders is about £3bn a year, which is almost 8 per cent of the voluntary sector’s income.
Funders typically have assets of less than £10m and make individual grants averaging about £10,000.
A survey of 551 funders, conducted as part of the study, shows that trusts and foundations gave 20 per cent of their awards to new applicants in 2013, compared with less than 10 per cent in 2011.