PERSPECTIVE3-5 min to read

Foundation Giving Trends 2019

We are pleased to be an official partner of the Association of Charitable Foundations. Their Foundation Giving Trends series presents annual research on the spending, income and assets of the Top 300 philanthropically-funded foundations.


Key findings included:

Assets: Top 300 foundations net assets reached a record £67 billion in value in 2017/18, however overall growth rates slowed dramatically, ranging from low to negative. Income from investments fell for the first time in 5 years. The ownership of assets is highly skewed. The top seven foundations by asset value each have more than £1 billion in net assets, representing almost two-thirds of Top 300 assets (62%).

Grant-making: Almost two-thirds of foundations in the Top 300 (193) made a real-terms increase in grant-making in 2017/18. The majority of these (146) also experienced a fall in their income, assets, or both. Grants were worth £2.6 billion and grew by a real annual 9.9% (ex Wellcome Trust).

Social Investment: The level of social investment continues to grow (+23%), albeit from low levels. Thirty-four Top 300 foundations (11%) identified programme-related, missionrelated or social investments in their balance sheet, annual report narrative or notes to their accounts, worth £146 million.

Top 10 foundations by net assets

    A/C year Net asset £million
1 Wellcome Trust Sept 2018 24,200.1
2 Garfield Weston Foundation Apr 2018 9,933.8
3 Children's Investment Fund Foundation Dec 2017 3,838.7
4 Leverhulme Trust Dec 2018 3,178.0
5 Bridge House Estates* Mar 2018 1,395.8
6 Henry Smith Charity Dec 2017 1,010.9
7 The Health Foundation Dec 2017 1,008.8
8 Esmée Fairbairn Foundation Dec 2018 997.3
9 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Mar 2018 755.1
10 Wolfson Foundation Apr 2018 739.2

The grant-making arm of Bridge House Estates isCity Bridges Trust

For more information and to download a copy of the report, please visit the ACF website here.

This article is issued by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and a trading name of Schroder & Co. Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Nothing in this document should be deemed to constitute the provision of financial, investment or other professional advice in any way. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.

All data contained within this document is sourced from Cazenove Capital unless otherwise stated.


Charity Investment Annual

The value of your investments and the income received from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested.