Phi Newsletter – June 2014

Welcome to the June 2014 issue of the Factary Phi Newsletter.

Major Giving News

Durham University to receive £3.35m

Durham University is set to receive £3.35m from notable philanthropist and former student, Sir Peter Ogden.

The money will be used to help fund the construction of a new £10m university building, named the Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics. Sir Peter, who was himself a Durham University physics graduate said: ‘This new building and its facilities will attract the best students and researchers in cosmology and particle physics phenomenology from all over the world and will enable Durham to lead international developments in these fields.’

The gift is considered the largest single donation in his trust’s (The Ogden Trust) history, while a further £1.5m has been donated by The Wolfson Foundation.

The building itself is being designed by world-renowned architectural practice studio, Daniel Libeskind, which is led by the man who also created New York’s Ground Zero monument.

Professor Chris Higgins, the University’s vice-chancellor, said: ‘Durham is truly a world leader in physics research and teaching and this exceptionally generous gift from The Ogden Trust, and the wonderful support of The Wolfson Foundation and our alumni, will ensure that we can create a prestigious development to help keep us at the forefront of international physics research for many years to come.’

Polestar unit receives big boost

An appeal to raise funds for the UK’s first in-theatre intraoperative MRI scanner has reached a major milestone, with a new £600,000 donation from the charity, Children With Cancer UK.

The appeal for the new scanner, which is being led by the University of Nottingham, will allow Nottingham surgeons to take highly detailed scans of a patient’s brain whilst on the operating table.

However, this new piece of technology will not just be of benefit to patients, as it will also help academics at the University’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) further some vital research into improving outcomes for people suffering from rare forms of brain tumours.

Blind Veterans UK to receive £50,000

The veteran’s charity are to receive a state-of-the-art refurbishment of their UK building thanks to this substantial donation from the Sussex Freemasons.

On Thursday Martin Mitten, Sussex Freemasons deputy provincial grand master elect, presented a cheque for £50,000 to Bob Strickland, a blind veteran and secretary of Blind Veterans UK’s masonic lodge, at the charity’s centre in Ovingdean, Brighton.

A spokeswoman for Blind Veterans UK said: ‘Blind Veterans UK has had a longstanding relationship with the Freemasons of many years’. The Freemasons has provided funding for a number of the charity’s capital projects based at two of its rehabilitation centres in Brighton and Llandudno.

The money will fully fund a state-of-the-art bedroom as part of a refurbishment of the centre’s permanent residential care facilities.

Next section: Report

Report: ‘Independence Undervalued: The Voluntary Sector in 2014’

The report was initiated by the Baring Foundation and was conducted by The Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. The research itself was intended to investigate and assess the importance of ‘independence’ in the sector and how this can be maintained.

The context for the report

Moving into 2014, the decline of trust and engagement in politics has become increasingly prominent, it is noted in the report, with 58% of public respondents stating they were ‘not very’ (32%) or ‘not at all’ (26%) concerned with politics. Indeed, people in lower socio-economic groups were significantly more disinterested in politics compared with higher social groups, and were considered far less likely to vote, or take an interest in politics. Furthermore, membership of political parties is also evidenced to be in decline.

Despite this lack of engagement, trust and engagement with voluntary organisations is noticeably high, with 66% of people trusting charities ‘quite a lot’ or a ‘great deal’ compared to just 8% who trust politicians. The reason for this, it is stated, is because these organisations can engage with different communities of interest in a way that, increasingly, politicians cannot. As an example, campaigning organisation 38 Degrees said it had 2 million members that can be mobilised on specific issues. However, this perceived strength can also run the risk of putting politicians on the defensive, with a growing tendency to see campaigning groups as a problem rather than a democratic force.

The voluntary sector in increasing demand

For those who rely on the support of the voluntary sector, these are testing times, as many independent and specialist organisations are facing increasingly tough choices regarding their own survival and also their independence of purpose, voice and action.

Demand in many areas is also increasing with striking increases in indicators of poverty such as hunger, homelessness and destitution caused by problems in the wider economy. Reductions in welfare, support and cuts in public services are also having a marked impact.

As funding for these public services has been cut back, welfare functions that would in the past have been paid for by the taxpayer have increasingly come under the responsibility of the voluntary sector. In some cases, such as foodbanks, communities have been forced to step in. However in other areas, such as such as advice services, some people may be left entirely without support. The Government’s view appears to be that this reduction in the size of the state should be a permanent one.

Based on this, an already bad situation looks set to get worse. Voluntary organisations are losing vital state funding and one conservative estimate is that the voluntary sector will be receiving £1.7b less each year by 2017-18 than in 2010-2011 (using 2010-11 prices). Income from individuals to the voluntary also appears to be falling dramatically. Although quarterly returns from the Charity Commission suggest a slightly more positive picture in terms of the total income of the sector as a while, this appears to be more because public sector organisations are being set up as charities.

Smaller organisations under particular threat

The redistribution of state income among voluntary organisations is also considered to be a significant factor. In its 2013 report on cuts, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations concluded that it may be smaller community organisations (that receive funding from local authorities) that experience the most disproportionate cuts. Whereas in comparison, some larger charities that can access new contracts may be less significantly affected, or at least may be more capable of replacing lost income.

The picture across the country

As the panel reported last year, the research suggests that voluntary organisations rely more on state funding in certain parts of the country, especially when there are high concentrations of deprivation, and the first round of cuts were keenly felt in these areas.

In 2012-13, the National Audit Office concluded that the overall reduction in spending power ranged from 1.1% to 8.8% per cent in cash terms. The panel looked at how organisations were faring in different parts of the country, and a surprisingly consistent pictured emerged of rising demand, reducing funds and an unsustainable reliance on reserves.

Review of six challenges identified last year

Last year, six key points were identified by the panel as challenges to the independence to the voluntary sector. These were:

  • Threats to independence of voice
  • Lack of consultation and involvement over vital funding and policy issues
  • A blurring of sector boundaries leading to a loss of identity and respect for independence
  • Statutory funding and contracting arrangements that fail to support independence
  • Ineffective safeguards/regulation in protecting independence
  • Threats to independent governance by central and local government

Below, we have included their current standing and the government’s response to these threats in 2014.

Threats to independence of voice – Verdict: increased concerns compared with last year. The panel recommended that:

  • Gagging clauses and controls on data should not be allowed
  • The right of voluntary organisations to campaign should be defended
  • Infrastructure bodies should do more to articulate the needs of small organisations to the government, given their relative lack of power and ability to protect their independence

In response to the report, Nick Hurd, the Minister for Civil Society, said that ‘the Government is committed to the principles of the Compact and supports and respects the independent voice of the voluntary sector. I feel strongly that the role of the sector to be able to speak truth to power is part of their value to society and this is something I will work hard to protect.’

He also said that the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) does not support gagging clauses but does support contracts that are ‘are designed to ensure that DWP remains compliant with UK Statistics Authority guidelines, and therefore providers have an obligation not to make any public announcements that may bring the Department disrepute, or to release Management Information without permission.’

Lack of consultation and involvement – Verdict: deteriorating since last year. The Panel recommended that:

  • Infrastructure bodies hold discussions collectively about how to strengthen the voluntary sector’s influence and put a strategy in place for doing so
  • Communities of interest within the voluntary sector could be further supported by charitable trusts in order to strengthen their policy making and influencing capacity

In his response, Nick Hurd said the government was committed to ‘thorough and appropriate consultation with the voluntary sector, and having a range of timescales rather than a 12 week period was one of a number of ‘measures to improve consultations’, including other changes such as ‘digital by default’.

Loss of identity and respect for independence – Verdict: concerns unchanged since last year. The panel recommended that:

  • A debate is held by the voluntary sector in order to discuss and identify what makes the sector distinctive and independent, and what should be done to best protect this independence
  • Sector wide bodies articulate the value of the voluntary sector in delivering its services and the importance of its independence

Nick Hurd welcomed the call for a debate in his response to the Panel’s report.

Statutory funding and contracting arrangements – Verdict: concerns unchanged since last year. The panel called for:

  • The new Public Services (social value act) 2012 to result in the quality and other social value being considered alongside price in determining value
  • Improved safeguards that will protect sub-contractors in consortia that are delivering public services in the Work Programme and elsewhere
  • A debate between the sector and the government in order to determine the funding models that will be of most benefit to the sector, recognising the differences between the various different organisations operating in this field

The minister for civil society said the government is ‘committed to making it easier to work with the state to deliver public services’ mentioning the Commissioning Academy and Civil Society Crown Representative.

Ineffective safeguards and regulation – Verdict: some changes, however concerns remain the same. The panel recommended that:

  • The Cabinet Office produce an annual report on national compliance with the Compact to mirror the local review by Compact Voice
  • Stronger leadership is Implemented both nationally and locally and in terms of resources in order to back up Compacts
  • The 12 week consultation period be reintroduced
  • The charity commission be provided with enough funding to promote independence
  • There is a clear separation between funders and regulators of charities

In response, Nick Hurd said the Compact had been included in departmental business plans

Greater protection for Independent Governance – Verdict: Concerns remain the same. The panel recommended that the Charity Commission should issue some form of guidance similar to that in Scotland, which specifically prohibits Ministerial direction or control of a charity.

Nick Hurd responded to say that charities must by law be independent and that where this was an issue it was a matter for the Charity Commission, ‘which has broad intervention and protection powers.’ Since then, the Charity Commission’s funding has been cut further in the 2015-16 Spending Review and its role is likely to be narrowed down.

According to the report, the Minister’s assurances disregard the fact that some charities, who are very close to the government, are not regulated by the Charity Commission. This issue was raised again with the plane by Sam Younger, when he gave evidence in October, and also in an NAO Landscape review on charities.


Unfortunately, the panel were not optimistic that many of the threats to independence, mentioned above, will be fully addressed moving further in 2014. Indeed, the evidence suggests that the independence of the sector is being undervalued by central government and others, with the public private and voluntary sectors being regarded almost as interchangeable delivery agents of the state.

To combat this, there must be no delay in holding a fundamental debate that develops a greater understanding in terms of what is distinctive and valuable in an independent voluntary sector.

Clickhere for a full version of the report.

Next section: Phi Database Update

Phi in Numbers June 2014

For this month’s edition of our database update, we have included a link to some analysis by Factary’s Director, Chris Carnie, on middle donor programmes using Factary Phi data.

Below, is a brief excerpt from his post, and a link to the full article can be found here:

Where is the Middle?

‘Middle donors’ is an area of growing interest for many non-profits, described by one consultant as a ‘hot topic.’

Fundraisers refer to middle donor programmes as an easy step up from a regular donor programme. Middle donor programmes fit with the donor pyramid model, suggesting that donors will upgrade from regular giving into the middle donor space and that some will go on to become major donors or to give legacies.

Despite the interest there is remarkably little data on this. We know little about who is giving, what they are supporting, and how much is being raised. To add a little new data to the debate we’ve done an analysis in Factary Phi.

Middle Donors by Sector

It will be no surprise to learn that the education sector – principally, UK universities – is leading the field in middle donor programmes. What is more surprising is that middle donors are being reported in all sectors.

Almost exactly half (49.4%) of all reported middle donor gifts by value are going to the education sector, substantially the largest sector for this type of fundraising. Arts and Culture attract the next largest total, with 18.7% of middle donations by value. Some way further behind are Children/Youth (6.3%), Health (6.1%), Welfare (4.7%), and Religious Activities (4.5%).


Sectors that are apparently not performing well in the middle donor space include International Development, Rights/Law/Conflict, Animals and Development/Housing/Employment.

The full post can be found here:

Next section: Profile

Profile: The P F Charitable Trust

Formed in 1951, this trust was founded by Philip Fleming, a British merchant banker and member of the wealthy Fleming family.

Born in 1889 to Scottish parents, Philip Fleming was educated at Eton College and also Magdalen College, in Oxford, England. During his time at Eton he competed in The Boat Race, the annual rowing race between Oxford and Cambridge University, and managed to win this event as rower in the winning vessel of 1910. After his success for Oxford, he also joined Leander Club in 1912 and was the strokesman of its Olympic gold medal winning team of 1912.

After finishing his education, both he and his brother Valentine became caught up in the Great War and enlisted in the Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars. His brother was sadly killed in the war, but was survived by his three sons. The youngest of which, Ian Fleming, went on to write Casino Royale, the first James Bond Novel, which was based on his own experiences as an officer in the Navy.

Philip and Valentine’s father, Robert Fleming, was the son of a grocer who first found success as a Jute trader, which was to be the source of the family’s wealth. He invested the profits he made from this, and become a notable financier of post-American Civil War reconstruction.

Philip finished his time in the Army at the rank of Major, and he would later join the family business, Robert Fleming & Co, where he became Partner. The family business was also moved to London in 1909, however his father reportedly maintained close ties with Dundee, and made many charitable bequests to the city during his lifetime

Philip lived in Oxford for most of his life, and he was also made the Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire and High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in 1948. He founded this trust in 1951, and continued to live in Oxford until his death in 1971 at the age of 82.

For the financial year ending the 31st of March 2013, the trust reported an income of £3,332,992 and an expenditure of £2,722,261. Factary Phi holds 142 records of donations made to various organisations since 2005 worth a minimum of £3,736,050

According to Phi, the average size of donations made by the trust is £45,012 and the largest single donation has been made to Marie Curie Hospice for Glasgow for £500,000. Furthermore, the largest proportion of these donations have been made to causes associated with Health (38), followed by Arts/Culture (25), Children/Youth (21), Education/Training (21), Development/Housing/Unemployment (7), Environment (6), Disability (4), General Charitable Purposes (4), Elderly (3), Heritage (3), Sport (2), Animals (2), International Development (1), Mental Health (1), Religious Activities (1), Rights/Law/Conflict (1).

The Trustees

Philip Fleming

Philip Fleming is a non-executive Director of Fleming Family & Partners. Before joining the company, he started his career with Brompton Investments before going on to hold a variety of positions with Fleming Family & Partners, including as an assistant fund manager, an analyst and also as a marketing manager for the firm. Furthermore, the Fleming family are also featured on the Sunday Times Rich List 2014 with an estimated wealth of £1.5b.

Robert Fleming

Robert Fleming is a banker, however based on his age and lack of any current Directorships, we believe him to be retired. He is also a Trustee of the Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.

Rory Fleming

The grandson of Philip Fleming (The trust’s founder), Rory Fleming is a Director of Fleming Collection Ltd and he is also a Trustee of The Fleming-Wyfold Art Foundation.

Next section: News

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