The £6.8 billion Recipe for Philanthropy

There is a kitchen theme in this year’s Foundations of Wealth, published today, with Gordon Ramsay featured alongside the owner of the UK’s largest franchise for Domino’s Pizzas, and a kitchenware manufacturer.

They are three amongst 42 wealthy philanthropists who have set up a grant-making trust during 2014, all of them profiled in depth in our freshly-prepared report.

New trusts appear to be boys’ toys. 93% of the wealthy founders whom we profile are men, with just 7% women. That is the same ratio as in 2013, and slightly more male than in 2012. It reflects the gender imbalance in great wealth in the UK with around 10% of the Sunday Times Rich List being women, and a hard-to-explain gender imbalance in structured philanthropy. As “Untapped Potential” reported in 2011, just 4.8% of European foundation grant monies go to women and girls (see Shah, Seema, Lawrence T McGill, and Karen Weisblatt. Untapped Potential: European Foundation Funding for Women and Girls. New York: Foundation Center, 2011.) Factary is currently engaged in a study of philanthropy amongst women of wealth to try to find out why.

As in previous reports, the founders of UK grant-making trusts are economically active – more than two thirds (69%) are under 65 – a similar percentage to 2013 and a slightly younger profile than 2012, when 53% were under 65.

Their’s is new money – more than three quarters are self-made millionaires – with wealth principally from financial services, retail, manufacture and property. The total wealth represented by the 42 we have profiled in depth is over £6.8 billion – reflecting the increasing concentration of wealth in the UK.

The founders are distinctly international, with four people of Indian descent and three others with non-UK nationality, as well as founders who have lived and worked abroad. The UK is not the easiest country in the world in which to create a charitable foundation (it is arguably easier in the Netherlands, for example) but the combination of a wealth management industry that is growing and gearing up for philanthropy, a broadly stable economic climate and people – philanthropists – who want to make their giving more effective has led to a boom in the establishment of trusts. Last year we reported on 214 newly created grant-making trusts in our monthly New Trust Update report.

Could you build a partnership with these new trusts and foundations? Our report tells you about the founding philanthropists, about their philanthropy they set up their foundation, and about the new foundation’s interests. Health, welfare, education and training are the big subjects, and we’ve identified clusters of interests linking health and arts, education and welfare. We have researched an in-depth profile of each of these leading philanthropists, and here you will find biographic information that will help you build a link with the trust, or the founder.

Philanthropy is alive and well in the UK amongst people of wealth. These good 42 at least are willing to share their wealth with the rest of society.

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