Trust Women

Why so few women in UK foundations?

We’ve analysed all of the newly created grant-making trusts (foundations) registered in England and Wales since 2005 – a data set of 2,312 new grant-makers. Our findings are in a new Factary report, ‘Trust Women’, available for download here.

Key Findings:

  • Boards are not balanced – on average there is just one woman per board across all of these trusts.
  • Almost one third (29.7%) had all-men boards when they were registered.
  • Just one trust in five has women in the majority on boards.
  • And we found some evidence that trusts with women in the majority were poorer at start-up than those with men-majority boards.

Our report is based on Factary’s New Trust Update dataset ( ).

To find out more about this data, contact

Download ‘Trust Women’ here.

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?