Family foundation giving increases amid slump in corporate support, report finds

Giving by grant making foundations grew by 7.8% over 2021 with a particular increase in grants handed out by family and personal trusts.

Figures released by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) found that giving by family and personal foundations increased by nearly a quarter (23%) over the last year.

But this comes amid a decrease in corporate giving, found the ACF’s Foundation Giving Trends 2021 report.

It found that giving by the top 50 corporate foundations totalled £204m in 2019/20, a fall of 12.2% in real terms from figures released in 2018/19.

Most of this fall was due to lower grant making by Lloyds Register Foundation in 2018 and 2019. Meanwhile, Goldman Sachs Gives (UK)’s grants have fallen by £7.5m in real terms, says the report.

“This year’s research shows how foundations have stepped up when the Covid-19 pandemic hit,” said ACF chief executive Carol Mack.

“Significantly, foundations are continuing to choose to maintain or increase their grant-making, despite the fact that this research covers a period with the economic uncertainty of Brexit in 2019 and then right into the pandemic in 2020.

“The research provides a valuable oversight of the key trends in foundation giving, income and assets and I’m sure ACF members will want to look at the findings to see how the sector as a whole responded at a difficult time”.

The figures do not include giving by the Wellcome Trust and show that voluntary income to the top 300 foundations increased by 11% in real terms. However, investment income fell by more than 6%, if Wellcome Trust’s figures are included.

Report co-author Professor Cathy Pharoah added: “The series provides a powerful route to track how foundations spending, income and assets have changed over time, as well as detailing the drivers of changes on a year-by-year basis.

“This year’s report is particularly important to help understanding of the situation for foundations as the profound impacts of Covid-19 began to be felt across the sector.”

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