The Philea Virtual Library

The Philea Virtual Library includes over 1,000 free-to-download publications from a range of organisations and publishers on the topics of philanthropy, the management of foundations and the areas they are involved in and support. As a Philea member you can send us your publications for inclusion in the library which will also be added to the global IssueLab network where they will be made available to an extended audience, including users of Worldcat, the global catalogue used by tens of thousands of libraries. For questions or assistance, please contact the Philea Virtual Library.
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Becoming Stronger Foundations: Examples of ambitious and effective practice from the first year of the Stronger Foundations self-assessment tool

March 8, 2022

This report by the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF) found that a growing number of its members are pursuing ambitious and effective practice, driven by a desire to make the most of their resources that are increasingly in demand. Amid the global pandemic and a greater focus on inequality in society, foundations are seeking to strengthen their governance, be more transparent, reduce the burden on grantees and improve their staff and board diversity. 'Becoming Stronger Foundations' showcases more than 50 practical examples of how ACF members are putting into action the 'pillars of practice' from ACF's Stronger Foundations initiative. More than half of the examples are from smaller foundations awarding less than £1m a year in grants, showing that no type or size of foundation has a monopoly on being ambitious and effective. 

Ethical issues and Good Practices; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Investment: The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice

July 8, 2020

Investment: The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice is the fifth report emerging from ACF's Stronger Foundations initiative. It sets out seven characteristics of excellent practice, which include prioritising mission when setting investment objectives, holding investment managers to account, and seeking to influence the investment behaviour of others. Informed by 18 months' gathering evidence, the report also emphasises the role of each and every trustee in engaging with the foundation's investments, and seeks to demystify investments by providing clear explanations and examples. It also highlights the importance of seeking a wide range of views, ensuring diverse voices are heard and learning from peers in the foundation sector and beyond. It complements previous reports from the Stronger Foundations initiative which encourage foundations to consider using 'all the tools in their toolbox' to achieve impact.

Finance and Investment

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice

October 3, 2019

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: The Pillars of Stronger Foundation Practice is the first report emerging from the Stronger Foundations initiative. It sets out nine characteristics of excellent practice in a foundation, which include collecting data on diversity, implementing DEI practices in funding activities, and making itself accountable to those it serves and supports. 

Ethical issues and Good Practices

Foundations Giving Trends 2016

September 1, 2016

This report is part of an evolving series of annual research studies which identify and track foundation giving in the UK.This edition merges last year's separate publications – Foundation Giving Trends and Family Foundation Giving – into a single report. It brings together research data on the Top 300 independent foundations, the Top 150 family or family business foundations, and the Top 50 corporate foundations, all by size of giving. It focus on the Top 300 as together they represent 90% of all giving by value of the 10,000-plus independent foundations in the UK.

Corporate Philanthropy; Family Philanthropy

Family Foundations Giving Trends 2015 Report : Top 100 Family Foundations

October 1, 2015

This is the seventh edition of Family Foundation Giving Trends. It provides an update on annual charitable income and spending by the UK's top 100 family foundations in 2013/2014, with details on the next 50 foundations. This focus on family foundations not only provides a benchmark to the personal philanthropic giving of the UK's wealthiest individual and family donors, past and present, but also demonstrates the enduring appeal and value of the foundation as a vehicle for their giving.

Family Philanthropy; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Giving Trends Top 300 Foundation Grant-Makers 2015 Report : Key Facts and Figures on Giving, Income and Assets in The Top 300 UK Independent Charitable Foundations Ranked by Grant-Making

January 1, 2015

This report focus on the Top 300 UK independent charitable foundations, ranked by grant-making. Although this number represents only a tiny section of the 10,000 plus UK foundations, it does account for over 90% of all giving by value. This year our figures (drawn mostly from annual accounts) show a relatively optimistic financial picture, especially when compared to the volatility and uncertainty detailed in previous editions.

Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Intentional Investing : the Principles, Practicalities and Pitfalls

January 1, 2015

Intentional Investing, published by ACF and sponsored by Cazenove Charities looks at whether and how charity investors might reflect their organisation's aims, values, or wider social goals into their investment practice. Written by Richard Jenkins and Kate Rogers, the report examines current responsible and ethical investment practice, drawing on the results of the biggest survey of its kind into the behaviours of charity investors. On the basis that only the trustee board can decide what is right for a charity, the report identifies the key questions trustees might consider to discover what is best in their context. This report also investigates: the impact of such responsible and ethical investment policies on long term investment returns; andthe principles, practicalities and pitfalls of reflecting your charity's values and aims in your investments.

Finance and Investment

Family Foundation Giving Trends 2014

July 1, 2014

This is the sixth annual edition of Family Foundation Giving Trends. It provides an update on annual charitable spending by the top family foundations -- a key indicator of the contribution of UK philanthropists, past and present The report has been revised as part of a new series of foundation briefings published by ACF and CGAP with support from Pears Foundation Foundations may be funded through families, individuals, family businesses, companies government, or fundraising, and this report specifically focuses on family foundations.

Family Philanthropy; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis

Research Briefing Charitable Trusts and Foundations' Engagement in the Social Investment Market

October 1, 2013

Foundations engaged in social investment frequently provide risk capital to charities and social enterprises that are starting or scaling up or that need working capital. Although social investments typically can deliver below market returns and/or involve venture capital style risks, those who make them feel they are justified because of the social return.

Finance and Investment; Foundation Sector, History and Analysis; Grantmaking and Programme Management

For Good And Not For Keeps: How Long-term Charity Investors Approach Spending on Their Charitable Aims

February 1, 2013

For Good And Not For Keeps was commissioned to explore one of the most testing questions faced by trustees of charities with long-term missions who rely on investment assets to fund their activities. 'How much can we safely spend on our charitable activities year on year while preserving the value of our investment assets for future generations?'. This report addresses those charities with a long-term mission that rely on the return from investment assets to fund their charitable activities year on year. It has been written primarily to help charity trustees and staff think through their approach to managing the often competing concerns they experience. It may also interest those who advise them or who aim to support the sector. The report presents some technical information, but is aimed at the 'lay', or non-expert, reader with no professional legal, financial or investment experience but who may find themselves involved in governing or managing charities with investments.

Finance and Investment

The Governance and Financial Management of Endowed Charitable Foundations

April 1, 2012

This report into the governance and financial management of endowed charitable foundations -- charities that fund their activities mostly from investments -- is the first research of its kind into this sector. It examines the common principles for the management of charitable foundations and, through interviews and case studies, shows the ways different organisations have implemented them to get the best value for their charitable aims. The report identifies that there are 900 endowed foundations in England and Wales with income over £500k. With collective assets of £48.5bn -- nearly half the Voluntary Sector assets of the UK as a whole - they are together responsible for £2.3bn charitable spending each year.

Finance and Investment; Governance, Boards and Strategy; Legislation and Taxation

Women and Philanthropy: Inspiring Women, Inspired Giving

March 1, 2008

"Women & Philanthropy: Inspiring Women, Inspired Giving" is the first contemporary report into women and philanthropy in the UK. It highlights, for the first time, the growing involvement and influence of women in major philanthropy today. This trend is significant for everyone with an interest in promoting a culture of giving in the UK, and this report ought to spur on further research into this important area. Leading off the report, a Philanthropy UK survey of advisors to high-net-worth individuals revealed that, amongst other findings, women, like many male philanthropists, take a strategic approach to their philanthropy, and that they often seek a deeper level of engagement and connections with the causes they support. The report also look at the history of women's philanthropy in the UK, and offer a global perspective, with high-level overviews of women and philanthropy in seven countries.

Community Philanthropy; Gender and Women; Philanthropy, Theory, Philosophy and History

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