How the Elite Connect

A new report by Factary shows how the elite connect in Britain.

We’ve looked at how people link up – how they know each other – because it’s so central to fundraising. We used data from Factary Atom, our connections research and mapping service.

We show why it is important to research business AND charity connections and highlight the role of the London Clubs (we name the most connected). We include statistics that show the relative connectedness of alumni from UK and US universities, and discuss the relevance of hobbies and interests in making connections.

The report, “My Friends… How the Elite Connect in Britain”, is available free for download here: How the Elite Connect

The New Trustees, and a wealth of philanthropy

More than 6,200 people have become trustees of new grant-making trusts in the UK since 2005. Who are these people?

We have researched our New Trust Update database to answer this question, and we have some interesting findings about these New Trustees:

  • The New Trustees are wealthy: we have identified more than £31 billion in combined wealth amongst New Trustees
  • The New Trustees are international: 119 New Trustees live abroad
  • London and Salford, Manchester are the centres for new philanthropy; our New Philanthropy Index shows high concentrations in these areas

Our latest report – The New Trustees – includes these findings and more, and gives detailed data on these new philanthropists.

Download the report, free, here: The New Trustees

Prospect Research, for Fundraisers

Factary director Helen Brown ( has co-authored a new book on prospect research. It’s aimed at researchers, but above all at the fundraisers who are managing researchers.  Chapters include Identifying New Prospects, Researching Prospects, Donor Relationship Management, Ethics, and Managing Prospect Research.

The chapter on Managing Prospect Research includes sensible guidance on setting expectations and agreeing terminology.

A great practical handbook for everyone in the research and fundraising community.

Prospect Research for Fundraisers cover

Our new website

Thanks to the hard work of a team at Factary led by Shaun Gardiner we’ve got a lovely new website. We hope you’ll find it useful, and easier to navigate.

Take a look at our published research paperslike this one, on UK law firms. Or our free white papers on philanthropy – such as this paper on the UK foundation sector.

Our full range of services is described here.

Try out our Prospect Value Chain – follow the chain from prospect to donor, and work out what research is needed, when (just hover your mouse over the Prospect Value Chain steps.)

And find out what people say about Factary Phi – our online database on 339,000 (and counting!) donors in the UK. Click on Testimonials, here.

We hope you enjoy the experience. Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions  (write to Shaun, at

Thanks for taking a look at Factary!


Soliciting Gifts: top law firms give £50m

A report published today by Factary shows that the top 10 UK law firms donate £50m per year to non-profits (charities, arts organisations, universities…)

Key findings in the 130-page report include:

The top 10 UK law firms donated more than £5m in cash to charitable causes in the last year; firms give eight times as much in pro bono work as they give in cash.


Law firms stated CR themes are, in order of preference, Education & Training, Housing & Employment, and Rights/Law & Conflict. By contrast, we found that publicly reported donations are focused on Health, Children/Youth and Arts. We analyse these differences and suggest reasons in our report


Crisis UK appears to enjoy the widest support from UK law firms, reporting donations from 9 of the 20 leading firms. Amongst Universities, the University of Sheffield leads the field, reporting donations from 5 of the top 20 firms.


The recognition won by some law firms for their donations far exceeds that of others. Slaughter and May achieve more public recognition for their donations than any other law firm. Clifford Chance, Hogan Lovells and Freshfields win little recognition for their generosity. Comparing amounts donated by the firms and public recognition, we report that DLA Piper achieve the highest level of public recognition per £1 donated.

The report – Soliciting Gifts: Donations by Leading Law Firms in the UK – is published as a special supplement to Factary’s New Trust Update report. It is published by Factary at £125 per copy, with a discounted price – £100 – for subscribers to Factary’s New Trust Update or Factary Phi.

To order a copy contact Shaun Gardiner.

The End of the New Trusts Recession

New research from Factary reveals that during 2009-10 there was a “New Trusts Recession” – four consecutive quarters in which the numbers of newly registered grant-making trusts declined.

That recession is now over. Our latest research paper reveals some of the patterns of grant-making by new trusts.

The research is based on cross-analysis between our New Trust Update database and our Factary Phi database.

Download the report here

AU$600m in philanthropy

Philanthropy in Australia just became easier to research, thanks to FR&C and Factary.

FR&C, the leading prospect research agency in Australia, has developed Giftsearch, a database of public domain information on donors to Australian nonprofits.

Giftsearch currently holds information on 60,000 donations, representing $600m in value. It’s growing, with new records added every month.

The database is hosted by Factary, using the software we developed for Factary Phi

For more on Factary Phi, or to arrange a demo, contact us.

To learn more about Giftsearch or FR&C, contact Charlotte Grimshaw.

Venture Philanthropy hits £1bn

I was honoured to chair this year’s annual conference of EVPA, the 141-member association for venture philanthropists in Europe. The conference included a wide range of speakers and new data on venture philanthropy, showing that it has now reached a cumulative £1bn in philanthropic investments.

Martine Godefroid, Managing Director of Factary Europe, attended too – and we combined our impressions for this article in Alliance magazine.

We’re bigger than NASA*

Factary Phi – our online, searchable database of philanthropists in the UK – has now reached 287,472 records and a total of £17 billion in recorded donations.

(*For comparison, £17 billion is more than the total budget for NASA for 2012, US$18 billion [source:])

Every single record is searchable, and subscribers can see who has given, to whom, and find the original public-domain source we used to find the record.

We’ve just uploaded over 23,000 new records to Factary Phi with a total value of £482m, equivalent to over half the total value of the Factary Phi database when it was launched in 2009. At the top end of philanthropy, we are currently reporting on 829 donations of £1m or more. That’s a lot of giving to UK organisations by people, trusts and foundations, and companies.

You could be using Factary Phi to

Here’s what users say:

Factary Phi is a unique tool, which has been a great starting point for much of my research & certainly saved me a great deal of time. As a new product to the market, it can only become stronger as more and more data is added.
— Arts organisation


Factary Phi is a great resource which helps our team get the fullest view of philanthropists’ giving, and helps us in prospecting.
— Social welfare organisation


Factary Phi makes my job easier and is a much quicker way of searching on a donor’s philanthropy.
— Arts organisation


Phi has been very useful and I now use it on a weekly basis.
— University

If you like a nice graph, here’s our growth in numbers of records:

Data growth Factary Phi

And here’s the growth in total value of donations recorded:

Value growth Factary Phi

Read more about Factary Phi here, or contact us to ask more or arrange a demo.