Family Foundation Giving Trends Report 2011

Pharaoh, Cathy and Keidan, Charles and Gordon, Jillian; (2011) Family Foundation Giving Trends Report 2011. In: Family Foundation Giving Trends. Alliance Publishing Trust, London. ISBN 9781907376146

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The fourth Family Foundation Giving Trends report is published in a climate of continued economic uncertainty and against the backdrop of a shrinking budget for the state’s provision of vital social services. Inevitably, this places greater pressure on philanthropy to fill the funding gap and to increase its effectiveness and social impact. The UK has, of course, a long philanthropic tradition, from pioneers like Sir Henry Wellcome to contemporary benefactors such as J K Rowling. As a proportion of the country’s GDP, the UK’s philanthropists score well, outstripping the United States in the family giving league, though not in giving overall. While we should feel proud of this level of engagement, we should also champion the increasingly sophisticated work being done to develop more effective strategies in charitable giving today. As president of the Cranfield Trust, I am hugely impressed by its established programme of providing volunteers who have MBA degrees or other postgraduate professional qualifications, working with a growing number of leading international business schools to improve the systems and processes with which charities operate. Every charitable cause is noble, of course, and every donation deserved. From my own experience, however, a focused and structured approach to giving can go so much further. With that in mind, we set up the Doughty Family Foundation to provide clear focus around a core set of charitable themes that resonate at a personal level with members of our family. The foundation allows us to monitor and measure the impact of our philanthropic efforts more effectively. It also helps us to take a longer-term perspective and build up a deeper understanding of the areas and issues in which we engage. I have worked in the private equity industry for over 25 years and am all too aware of the inexorable rise of shareholder value during that time. The drive towards greater efficiency within organisations and the pursuit of improved productivity has certainly created lots of shareholder value; undeniably, however, it has also widened the divisions between the haves and have-nots. Philanthropy is one important area that can help to address these imbalances. When it is done effectively, it is far more than just redistributing capital. It can forge the development of sustainable social enterprises, foster entrepreneurial skills and establish centres of research that result in new and better forms of social investment. This annual report is a valuable and practical tool. The data it captures not only improves our understanding of the state of philanthropy in the UK but also provides a focal point for thought leaders in philanthropy to come together, share best practice and increase their impact