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Methodology and data


This is the first year of the UKGrantmaking project and we have learned a number of lessons about the process of compiling the data, about the data itself, as well as the new platform. The approach we have taken is a work in progress for input and feedback to inform future analysis.

We have used the best data available to us at the time of publication, and while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, we cannot guarantee this. We welcome feedback on the quality of the data and the approach.


The segmentation has been designed in a way to support alignment with other research and analysis, where possible. All organisations identified for inclusion in the analysis were allocated to a single segment. This allocation involves an element of judgement based on the information and data available. There are a number of grey areas where segments might overlap or where there wasn’t enough information available and so assumptions needed to be made about the segmentation. This means that the segments are indicative only to help understanding of the picture.

GrantmakerCommunity foundationPublic charity that typically focuses on supporting a geographical area, primarily by facilitating and pooling donations used to address community needs and support local charities. A Member of UKCFCommunity Foundation Serving Tyne and Wear & Northumberland, Quartet Community Foundation
Corporate foundationCharitable foundations set up by businesses with funding from endowments, annual covenants, or giftsLloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, Vodafone Foundation
Family foundationFoundations funded principally by the personal gift of an individual donor, family or family businessPears Foundation, Tudor Trust
Wellcome TrustHas its origins as a family foundation but so large that it is included in a category of its own to support understanding of the dataThe Wellcome Trust
Fundraising grantmakerRaises money from the public in order to make grants. Often through specific appeals – or as placed-based or thematic giving schemesBBC Children in Need, Camden Giving, Rosa, People’s Postcode Lottery
Member/ trade fundedFoundations funded by trade bodies and members, including Livery CompaniesArt Fund, The Clothworkers Foundation, Transport Benevolent Fund
Government/Lottery- endowedFoundations established by government or National Lottery bodies but independent of themNESTA, Local Trust, Power to Change Trust, Youth Endowment Fund
General grantmakerOther trusts and foundationsJohn Lyon’s Charity, Henry Smith Charity
CharityCharityGrantmaking alongside other charitable services or supporting a single cause/institution/or members onlyMotability, AMREF, Cancer Research UK, Solace Women’s Aid
NHS/hospital foundationHospital foundations and related charities that make grants to support health work including those that make grants to some organisations outside the NHS

Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation, Imperial Health Charity

GovernmentCentralWhitehall DepartmentMinistry of Defence, Department for Education
LocalLocal council within the UK. Includes unitary authorities, district, county, parish councils, combined authoritiesManchester City Council, Greater London Authority
DevolvedDevolved government within the UK. Country only (combined authorities are part of local authorities)Scottish Government, Welsh Government, Northern Ireland Executive
Arms length bodyBody attached to a central government department or a non departmental government body. Not including National Lottery distributorsUK Research and Innovation, Natural England
LotteryLottery distributorDistributor of National Lottery funding. Also sometimes distribute government and other fundsNational Lottery Community Fund, Arts Council England
OtherDonor-advised fundA charitable vehicle whose main purpose is tax effective giving for a range of donors who direct the grantmaking.

Includes donation platforms where the donor specifies the charity

Master Charitable Trust,

Charities Aid Foundation

CompanyA private company that makes some grants directly from the company without a separate foundation JP Morgan

Excluded organisations

  • “Friends of” “PTAs” and fundraising subsidiaries of charities
  • School trusts
  • Organisations with an income AND expenditure of under £5k established before 2021

In addition there were some organisations that were not deliberately excluded but due to their being very difficult to identify in publicly available information do not appear in these segment

Data sources


The primary source of data about UK grantmakers is the three regulators of charities: the Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW), Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) and the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI). Data extracts from each of these regulators was used to construct a list of possible grantmakers, which we then manually checked and cleaned through the process discussed below.

Where possible, we checked information given to the regulators against the organisations’ annual accounts and made amendments if necessary. For example, data from CCEW does not contain the amount of spending on grants to individuals, so we manually added this to our data where available.

In the case of small organisations that were not required to complete an annual return to their charity regulator and therefore the grantmaking expenditure was not available, we used the organisational expenditure.

We sourced data on grantmakers that are not registered charities (for example central government or lottery distributors) from data published by those organisations.

We also checked the list of grantmakers against other data sources, including Foundation Giving Trends (published by the Association of Charitable Foundations), membership lists of partner organisations (the Association of Charitable Foundations, the Association of Charitable Organisations, UK Community Foundations and London Funders) and 360Giving’s register of grantmakers who publish 360Giving data.

Figures for grantmakers who are not registered charities have been taken from data they have published about their grantmaking. The estimated total for company giving in the Grantmaking Picture section is derived from the Directory of Social Change Guide to UK Company Giving 2023-24. It identified 405 companies giving around £442m – of which £300m is grant spending taken from the accounts of charitable Corporate Foundations with links to the companies in the Guide. Companies are no longer required to declare cash donations in their own reports and accounts, and only 225 of the 405 companies in the Guide provided data on community contributions, which includes cash and in-kind donations. In their own reporting, some companies even neglect to report donations made to their associated corporate foundation. As a result, it is difficult to put a precise figure on the total value of cash donations (or ‘grants’) made by companies, but this is likely in the low hundreds of millions – much less than commonly perceived.


The platform provides percentage change figures only for organisations with current and previous year figures. This means that the percentage change value may differ from raw calculations made from the summary table.

Figures are provided as per their reported values, unless we have stated an inflation adjusted figure. A rate of 10.03% calculated from the Consumer Price Index (looking at months and quarters for the fiscal year) was used for adjusting 2021-22 values to 2022-23 values.


Data on grants comes from data published by grantmakers using the 360Giving Data Standard which is gathered together in the 360Giving Datastore.

This data was supplemented by grantmaking data from National Lottery distributors published on the National Lottery grants database because not all lottery distributors publish their data using the 360Giving Data Standard. We deduplicated this data with other data published in the 360Giving Data Standard by National Lottery distributors, using the 360Giving data version when available.

A number of large government grants were excluded from the analysis as they were less relevant to our understanding of the civil society grantmaking picture or might have skewed this understanding. We excluded grants where they are government to government transfer, either between central government and other government departments or from central government to local authorities. Other exclusions included grants to schools, private sector organisations and international institutions such as the World Bank and the United Nations.

Grant information is based on the grants published using the 360Giving Data Standard, which may not include all grants made by the grantmaker in the period.


The recipient information is only available on grants published using the 360Giving Data Standard, and so does not correspond to the grantmaking reported in the overall grantmaking picture.

We added data on grant recipients using the organisation identifiers included in the data published by grantmakers. Where a grant recipient can be matched to a charity record, we used the charity’s record from the charity regulators to add financial and demographic details about that charity. This includes details of the country based on the postcode of the charity’s registered office, the income and size of the charities and in England and Wales, the charity classifications including the communities served, the themes and for the London Focus analysis, the geographical area of operation.

Challenges and learning

Challenges in the process

This was the first year of the project and there were some challenges inherent in doing something for the first time. These included:

  1. As this is a new approach, it took some time to gather user research, get consensus on the content and understand what was realistic in the time period.
  2. Developing the data analysis, written content and the platform at the same time and needing to iterate these to align with each other.
  3. Not having a full base of data for prior years of identified organisations and historical financial information. It meant having to create a base from scratch and verify all data and segmentation rather than applying the data just for the 2022-23 year.
  4. Not being aware that some data sources were not available at all which had an impact on what could be realistically achieved with the time and resources available.

Having these foundations and structures in place will make the process more efficient and effective next year.

There were also some challenges related to specific circumstances:

  1. The CCEW made changes to the Annual Return for 2023, but did not make the new form available until October 2023 so charities were delayed in submitting their annual returns and accounts. This meant the data and accounts appeared much later than they would have done in previous years and delayed the start of the analysis.
  2. The updated 2023 annual return form captured additional data. For example the updated form asked for the value of the grants distributed to individuals and families whereas the previous form only included the value of grants to institutions. We had assumed this information would be available for the analysis however these were not included in the Charity Commission open data at the time of data preparation in April 2024. This meant these values had to be manually looked up in the PDF accounts for each relevant grantmaker.
  3. There was a vacancy at 360Giving in the support analyst role at a critical period for the project. The impact on capacity meant that it was not possible to explore some areas in more detail as had originally been planned.
  4. These slight delays meant we were not able to be as iterative as we planned and had fewer opportunities to get input and refinement from Partners and Advisory Group members.

Again, with the foundations that we have from the current year, we will be able to start the process earlier and progress it quicker so do not anticipate experiencing these challenges in the same way for future editions.

Challenges in the data on grantmakers/grantmaking

There were a number of challenges in identifying both the organisations to be included and establishing the amount of their grantmaking:

  1. Difficulty identifying active grantmakers: A high number of organisations are classified on the CCEW register as making grants and it is difficult to establish which are more significant in their grantmaking for analysis in the report. As at May 2024, there were 49,376 recorded as making grants to organisations and 34,783 to individuals with 61,552 having selected either or both the boxes. There were 18,694 organisations which recorded that their “Main way of carrying out purposes is grant making”. This is a high volume of organisations and these are just the figures for England and Wales.
  2. Inconsistent data available: There is inconsistency in the depth and quality of the data between the charity regulators. In particular, the OSCR data was inconsistent and often the records did not even include a PDF of the statutory accounts to enable the manual collection of figures.
  3. Poor quality data: The annual return data for the CCEW did not include the total amount awarded in grants to individuals. The quality of the data available was also inconsistent in some places as it is manually entered each year by the charities with limited validation. As a result, a significant amount of manual verification from the PDF statutory accounts was required – and surprisingly a number of grantmaker accounts were not Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) compliant making it challenging identifying the correct figures.
  4. Lack of data available on smaller funders: Different questions are asked in the charity regulator annual returns based on the size of organisations, but in general the majority of questions, apart from those about income and expenditure, are only required for those with an income above £500k. This means that some organisations with substantial grantmaking but direct income under £500k are not required to complete the additional information, including their grants to institutions and their assets. This again contributed to the high level of manual verification required.
  5. Changes to legal forms and asset transfers: A number of funders had a new charity number and registration record, generally due to incorporating or merging different funds. Not all of these were included on the Charity Commission Register of Mergers. Some were included in the governance notes on the register as an asset transfer. In some cases this made it difficult to match records to prior year figures to understand trends.
  6. Limited data on funders not registered as charitable trusts: It was difficult to get data on known grantmakers which were not registered charities. In particular, devolved governments and local authorities. Many councils are still failing to follow the recommendations set out in the Local Authority Transparency Code 2015 on the publication of information about grants awarded to voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations.
  7. Lack of data standards for corporate giving: No data is available on corporate giving outside the corporate foundations who are registered as separate entities. The amount is not required to be disclosed in company accounts, and where it is, it is often reported as a Corporate Social Responsibility total which made it difficult to distinguish grants from volunteering time, employee fundraising/donation matching and in-kind support.
  8. Difficulty disaggregating group accounts: Data for some organisations was not disaggregated in statutory accounts to make it easy to report. This was the case for some private companies but also some giving schemes or grantmaking initiatives that were part of another organisation.

We used external data sources to support the identification of organisations to be included and then used manual verification to establish missing grantmaking totals. With over 20,000 organisations identified in the regulator registers with a main purpose of grantmaking, it was necessary to take a proportionate approach, focusing on the largest organisations.

Challenges in the data on grants and recipients

  1. Availability of published data: Not all grantmakers publish their data using the 360Giving Data Standard. In some cases we were able to source data that was broadly aligned using other forms, such as grantmaking data from National Lottery distributors published on the National Lottery grants database to include data from major funders such as Arts Council England who have yet to publish their data using the 360Giving Data Standard. However, for some grantmakers there was no data available in any consistent way on the total amounts distributed, let alone the details of the recipients and the grants – for example the majority of local authorities. We will be working on a long-term plan to address the gaps in the data.
  2. Availability of data in the timeframe: A number of grantmakers committed to publishing their data and perhaps had even done so in the past, but at the time of the analysis in April 2024 had still not published their data for grants awarded in 2022-23. This particularly impacted our analysis of community foundation recipients as 31 of the 47 community foundations published their data using the 360Giving Data Standard, but only 21 of these had done so for the 2022-23 financial year.
  3. Availability of data on grants to individuals: Although momentum is building on publishing data on grants to individuals, a new feature of the 360Giving Data Standard introduced in December 2022, not enough had been published for the 2022-23 financial year to be included in the analysis in any informative way. This is an area that we hope to expand in future editions.
  4. Data quality: The quality of the grants data published is inconsistent. Almost two-thirds of grants lacked duration information, making it difficult to put the grant awarded amount into context for the period. Some funders did not consistently use charity numbers or other external identifiers so it was difficult to identify the recipient organisations and provide additional information about them. During the year, 360Giving will provide support to publishers of grants data to improve the quantities and qualities of the data to increase the usefulness.
  5. Regulator register quality: Where we could identify organisations from their charity or other registration number and match to external data to find out more about the organisations, the quality of the data on the registers was not always strong. For example, on the CCEW, many charities have selected a high number of classifications and it is unclear what their main activities are to be able to understand the data in any meaningful way – for example, 56% of all charities have selected that they support “children and young people”.
  6. Availability of external registers: Where organisations are not registered charities, it is not always possible to find out more about the organisations and this impacts our understanding of the grantmaking picture. For example an unregistered organisation could be very small and below the threshold for registration, it could be an exempt or excepted charity, some of which are very large such as national museums or it could simply be one where the funder has not recorded the information. 360Giving will be exploring ways that can support improved use of external identifiers and increased availability of registers to better understand organisations being funded in the future.
  7. Geographical data limitations: It was difficult to provide detailed geographical analysis based on the data available. Most grant records do not include information about the intended area of benefit for a grant. Although the 360Giving Data Standard had a new feature of location scope introduced in 2022, this is not yet available in enough of the published data to be used. As a result, most commonly only the location of the recipient organisation is known. This means that geographical analysis is commonly skewed by where national and regional charities are based and not where the delivery of activities and people supported are located. For this reason, in this analysis we explored the approach in the London focus section of using the Charity Commission Area of Operation to better understand the geographical scope of organisations as a potential approach to wider geographical analysis in future editions.

Future developments

We are committed to this as a long-term project that will grow and evolve over time. We will look at trends over a longer time period, and increase the depth of the analysis now that we have the foundations of UKGrantmaking in place. This year we have a London focus, and we plan to develop the analysis with deep dives into other areas or specific topics and we welcome potential partners and suggestions for other priorities for exploration.

We will also develop approaches to improve the quantity and quality of data available in the longer term, working with stakeholders and partners.

Please share your suggestions of what you would like to see in future editions or provide feedback for improvement.

Amendments to data

Every effort has been made to support the data to be as accurate as possible with the information that was available to us at the time, but we recognise that our approach will evolve and improve over time. We noted above the challenges in producing the data.

We welcome feedback on inaccuracies to support us to develop and enhance our approach for future editions.

If you have identified inaccuracies in your data, your name, segmentation, or you are missing from UKGrantmaking and feel you ought to be included, then please let us know. Please complete our simple amendment request form

Unfortunately, the way that the data is linked and used for calculations, it is not possible to make amendments in the current edition, but we will review all suggested changes and keep a record of those that will be made in the future editions.

We have published this list of amendments for transparency and so that users of the full data set can reflect the changes for their own data use.

The changes recorded to date are saved in this Google Sheet.

Full data

360Giving is committed to open data.

The data in all the tables and charts used in this report can be downloaded from the tables directly in their relevant sections.

A full list of all the grantmakers featured in this report is available to download:

You may wish to review the amendments recorded above which have not been changed in this dataset.

The grants data used in this report is available on GrantNav or on the National Lottery grants database.