Foundations, Philanthropy, Research

Foundations as a global force

Revealing that foundation philanthropy has a growing world-wide role in addressing needs, the first global map of foundation philanthropy has been published, The Global Philanthropy Report:Perspectives on the global foundation sector.

The study co-ordinates data from 39 countries, including a UK contribution from Cathy Pharoah, Cass Business School.  It reveals the scale of institutional philanthropy as a global force for good. Key figures show at least 260,000 foundations, with collective assets of over USD 1.5 trillion, and annual expenditure of more than USD 150 billion per annum.

Two countries report philanthropic assets topping 10% of GDP.

The study also reveals that foundation philanthropy has a growing role in today’s world. Nearly three-quarters of identified foundations were established in the last 25 years, an era which has seen huge growth in private wealth.

Foundations are future-focussed. Their biggest aggregate investment is in education, and poverty is a top priority. Going beyond traditional grant-making, many foundations outside the US have a strong focus on running their own programmes, and social investment.

The report provides many tantalising and often surprising country comparisons on the foundation sector. Food for thought ( a feast!)  – for all those interested in the potential of institutional foundation philanthropy to leverage resources and help solve the world’s major challenges.