New Frontiers of Philanthropy: A Review

New Frontiers of Philanthropy (Oxford University Press, 2014) is the Haynes manual for new philanthropists. With this book we can open up the engine of new philanthropy and check out the workings. With 653 pages plus an extensive bibliography it is a substantial volume covering the people and organisations involved in new forms of philanthropy, the tools that they are using, and key issues.

New Frontiers of Phil cover

Whether you are a fundraiser working with philanthropists or foundations, a researcher trying to understand philanthropy, the manager of a family foundation or a financial adviser you will find lots to interest you here.

The book has three main sections:

“New Actors” deals with new organisations in the philanthropy and social area. These new actors may be assembling capital, providing secondary markets or exchanges, or prospecting for new ventures, and Professor Lester Salamon makes clear in his introduction that many fundraisers are not considering our do not understand some of the key actors in finance, such as pension funds.

The section includes some terminology from the finance sector that we are going to have to get used to applying in the non-profit sector: “capital aggregators” for example are essentially fundraising organisations such as community foundations.

The increasing involvement of business in charitable activities is highlighted – and Rick Cohen contributes a chapter on corporate-originated charitable funds, such as the Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund with US$3.8bn in assets under management. These funds are growing faster, operating more efficiently, and selling more aggressively than their purely charitable counterparts, trends highlighted by Prof. Salamon who notes that commercial donor-directed funds are now larger than community foundations in the USA.

Because the book’s scope is so wide it includes entities that are on the margins between charity and business, or “impact-first” and “finance-first”. It includes a deal of material on businesses that are focusing on the “base of the pyramid” (the poor). For Prof. Salamon these are businesses that are meeting a social need; for me these are simply businesses dealing with a different market segment.

“New Tools” is an encyclopaedic description of the many different ways in which someone who wants to do social or environmental good might go about it. It covers loans, social impact bonds, socially responsible investment, new forms of grant making including prizes, crowdfunding… and more. Fundraisers and financial advisers should take the time to read this section because it will inspire both to try new products with their philanthropic customers.

The third section in the book, “Cross-Cutting Issues”, debates the issues that emerge from the new philanthropy including “the elusive quest for impact”. Dr Alex Nicholls and Rodney Schwartz send out a wake-up call to the fundraising community, with a chapter on the demand side of the social investment marketplace, saying that the challenge is “..not an insufficient supply of social investment capital but an insufficient supply of investment-ready deals.” (In plain fundraising speak: ‘there are lots of donors, but not enough well-prepared proposals’.)

In this section there is a thoughtful piece by Dr Maximilian Martin giving the global perspective on new philanthropy. Dr Martin challenges the conventional view, arguing that social capital markets are inefficiently relationship-driven, not value-driven. He is subtly signalling the limits of relationship fundraising, noting that “…nonprofit leaders typically spend vast amounts of time on fundraising rather than on the continuous improvement of the work of the organizations they lead.” [p.608] He creates the phrase “synthesized social businesses” to suggest that we should move from a world of small fragmented organisations to one in which we build larger business ventures with a social purpose. “A philanthropic foundation could acquire [control over] …a company with the mission to make the good or service available to as many people as possible around the world.”

If you want to understand what is happening out at philanthropy’s cutting edge, this is the book for you. No-one in the book is claiming that all our donors are going to be asking us about making a quasi equity investment in our social enterprise next week. But the evidence from the impact of the venture philanthropy movement in Europe is that these ideas are already circulating in a donor community that is looking for change.

Be prepared for the new philanthropy; read this book.

Factary and the new philanthropy
Factary has monitored and researched the new philanthropy for many years. We were the first research group to publish a report on venture philanthropy in the UK and we continue to monitor new developments. Contact Nicola Williams, or Chris Carnie, if you would like to know more about our services in this area.

The Newest Philanthropists

Thirty of the UK’s newest philanthropists are featured in a report published today by Factary.

The report is focused on the Ultra High Net Worth Individuals (UHNWIs) and High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) who have founded grant-making trusts and foundations during 2013.

We profile 30 of the richest people in the country who have created grant-making bodies, and analyse their wealth, philanthropic interests and biographical information to create a picture of the UK newest philanthropists. With a combined estimated wealth of £5.7 billion, these individuals represent a significant source of funding for UK non-profit organisations in the years to come.

The report includes:

  • Detailed profiles of thirty new philanthropists
  • Updated information on their trusts and foundations
  • Note that, with one exception, none of these trusts is listed in any other directory of grant-making trusts
  • Our analysis of the biographic, philanthropic and financial data on these philanthropists
  • Networking Index to identify the links between philanthropists, companies and the new trusts.

To order the report email Nicola Williams,

The report is priced at £135. New or existing subscribers to Factary Phi or Factary’s New Trust Update get a discounted price of £95.

From Bookmaking to Billionaires
Included in the report is a scion of a billionaire family, a Duchess, a Viscount and two Knights of the Realm. There are eight representatives from the financial services industry including two hedge fund managers and four investment bankers, along with philanthropists with other sources of wealth including landownership, art galleries, bookmaking and football.

London, and International
There is a strong geographic concentration on London and the Home Counties but also a continuing international flavour to the new philanthropists in the UK with seven of the thirty UHNWIs and HNWIs having nationalities other than British, and global connections identified to a wide range of countries including Zambia, South Africa, Italy, Nigeria and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

There is a strong Oxbridge connection – a third of these new philanthropists went to either Oxford or Cambridge, with over 25% going to Oxford. Other UK universities attended include the University of Bristol, the London School of Economics, Leeds University and the University of Birmingham. Three of the people featured also went to the same public school; Charterhouse.

UK Philanthropy, Goes on Growing
During 2013 Factary’s New Trust Update reported on a total of 217 newly-registered grant-making trusts and foundations in the UK. This report shows that people of significant wealth are continuing to create foundations and grant-making trusts to support philanthropic organisations in the UK and abroad, creating a positive picture of philanthropy in the UK.

Venture Philanthropy in the UK Shows Similar Characteristics
The findings in this new report reflect the new philanthropists that we identified in our 2013 report on The Venture Philanthropists. In that report we found that 39% of UK venture philanthropists come from the financial services industry. We also found many people of wealth – £38 billion in combined personal assets.

This report was researched and edited by Will Whitefield, Senior Researcher at Factary. It is published as a special supplement to Factary’s New Trust Update.

The Venture Philanthropists: our ‘very comprehensive’ report

At this week’s European Venture Philanthropy Association ( conference, a senior UK venture philanthropist described our latest report, The Venture Philanthropists, as “very comprehensive.”

The focus of the report is the 254 board members and patrons who lead the UK venture philanthropy sector. We include biographies of each, and a handy networking index to identify who is linked to which fund. Many are people of wealth; we identify £38 billion in personal wealth.

Contents page 1

The 177-page report includes:

  • A clear explanation of venture philanthropy
  • A brief history of VP
  • Detailed analysis of trends in this fast-growing sector
  • Detailed profiles of the 22 venture philanthropy funds active in the UK
  • Biographies of the 254 board members and advisers who lead VP funds
  • More than 150 organisations and projects that have benefited from venture philanthropy
  • A who’s who in VP index linking people to companies and charitable trusts and foundations

The Venture Philanthropists is available at:

  • Non-profits: £250 per copy
  • For-profits: £300 per copy
  • Subscribers to Factary’s New Trust Update or Factary Phi, or those taking out a subscription with the report: £150 per copy.

To order a copy of the report contact Nicola Williams at Factary, or call Factary on +44 117 916 6740.

Who's who in VP
Who’s who in VP
Impetus-PEF people
Impetus-PEF biographies

Venture Philanthropy: A Great Growth Story

We have just completed an in-depth study of the UK’s venture philanthropy sector – and it is all about growth.

Two years ago we reported that there were 11 venture philanthropy organisations in the UK, giving (or investing, or lending) a total of £52 million.

This year we have identified 22 organisations active in VP in the UK – double the 2011 number – with assets of £2.8 billion and income, at £274 million, up 171% on two years ago. The fastest growth area of all is in grants, loans and investments, up 221% on two years ago.

The report – The Venture Philanthropists – focuses on the 254 board members and patrons in the UK VP sector, including brief biographies of each. We include a Networking index that shows the links between VP supporters, companies and trusts or foundations. The report gives detailed information on each of the 22 venture philanthropy funds active in the UK.

The 177-page report includes information on more than 150 charities and projects that have benefited from venture philanthropy.

The Venture Philanthropists is available now:

  • Non-profits £250 per copy
  • For-profits £300 per copy
  • Subscribers to Factary’s New Trust Update, or those taking out a subscription with the report, £150 per copy.

To order your copy contact Nicola Williams at Factary, or call us on +44 117 916 6740.

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

Impetus Trust and Private Equity Foundation merger, board

Two leading UK venture philanthropy funds are to merge – an interesting move and one which again underlines the clear business-like view of venture philanthropists. It’s a move that many philanthropists will welcome – particularly those who criticise the non-profit sector for duplication of effort.

The only downside is that the new entity’s board – announced in a press-release here – is all-male. This ties in with the gender imbalance that we identified in our 2011 report “The Venture Philanthropists,” in which we noted that 80% of board members are men.

In May 2012, Mama Cash launched a report ( showing that only 4.8% of European foundation spend was directed at women and girls. Could this be in part caused by the male dominance of leadership roles in European foundations?

New Money for education, arts, children and health

Factary research shows the favourite philanthropic subjects amongst people of wealth in the UK in 2012:

Favoured philanthropy amongst UK people of wealth
Favoured philanthropy amongst UK people of wealth

See note below.

Our analysis of the new grant-making trusts created by people of wealth (UHNWIs and HNWIs) in the UK in 2012 shows that almost a third, the largest single category, favour education and training with the arts, children and youth and health being next most favoured subjects. Measured in total wealth, education and training was the lead topic with 70% of wealth supporting this area.

These figures are drawn from our report on the people of wealth who created grant-making trusts in the UK in 2012. Foundations of Wealth 2012 is a detailed analysis of these philanthropists, including biographic profiles, education, professional positions, and information on their philanthropy including trusteeships. We include an analysis of each individual’s wealth. On each grant-making trust we include information on aims and activities drawn from public domain sources and, in many cases, from direct correspondence with the trusts themselves. The report includes a networking index to identify the links between philanthropists, companies and these new trusts.

The report is available from Factary at £135, with discounts for clients who subscribe to our New Trust Update report. To order your copy, contact Nicola Williams,, 0117 916 67 40.


Note: The graph shows the numbers of people of wealth creating grant-making trusts in the UK in 2012 and their philanthropic interests. For each individual we have assigned them up to three areas of interest, using the classification system used in Factary Phi.

Foundations of Wealth 2012

This year, 32 people with a combined wealth of £18.2 billion created new grant-making trusts in the UK. Most (84%) of these people of wealth are self-made millionaires. All have an estimated £10m or more in identifiable assets.


Factary has just published a report on these, the UK’s newest philanthropists. As well as people from financial services, retail and property sectors, we’ve identified an author, an actor, a brewer and a fashion designer. Three of the new philanthropists are investors in football clubs.

Thanks to Factary Phi, our database of donations to UK causes, we have been able to identify the causes that many of these philanthropists supported before they created their foundations. We’ve found personal, substantial donations to causes ranging from the Royal Shakespeare Company to Ovarian Cancer Action, and from Glyndebourne to the London School of Economics. This information on past philanthropy helps us understand the likely direction of these new trusts and foundations.


The report shows the way in which philanthropy has become international. It suggests a trend towards US citizens creating trusts and foundations in the UK – three of the 32 philanthropists are from the USA. The new philanthropists have global connections – identified in the report – to Australia, France, Greece, India, Iraq, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Switzerland, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, USA, and Zambia amongst others.


The 65-page report includes biographic profiles of the philanthropists, including their education and professional positions, and information on their philanthropy including trusteeships. We include an analysis of each individual’s wealth. On each grant-making trust – all featured in this year’s New Trust Update – we include information on aims and activities drawn from public domain sources and, in many cases, from direct correspondence with the trusts themselves.

We’ve also included a networking index to help you identify the links between philanthropists, companies and these new trusts.


The report is available from Factary at £135. Current and new subscribers to our New Trust Update report can order the report at the special price of £95.  To order your copy, contact Nicola Williams,, 0117 916 67 40.

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

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.