Philanthropic Foundations Must Combine More – Study

Tom Burroughes Group Editor 30 April 2018

Philanthropic Foundations Must Combine More – Study

A report by a business school organisation, supported by the Swiss bank, finds that the $1.5 trillion foundations sector is highly fragmented, holding up big potential for becoming more effective by collaborating.

Philanthropists must collaborate to maximise their financial firepower to help meet the $5-7 trillion of investment a year needed to hit sustainable development goals as set out by the United Nations, according to a new report.

The 32-page report, from the Harvard Kennedy School’s Hauser Institute, and with funding from UBS, found that 58 per cent of the 260,000 foundations identified worldwide don’t join hands in tackling problems. Fieldwork for the study covered 20 jurisdictions.

Foundations are concentrated geographically, with 60 per cent of them based in Europe and 35 percent in North America. In total, they hold around $1.5 trillion; half of them have no paid staff and budgets of under $1 million. In fact, 90 per cent of identified foundations have assets less than $10 million. Resources are highly concentrated in certain sectors, with education the most popular area for investment.

“This report takes a much-needed step towards understanding global philanthropy so that, collectively, we might shape a more strategic and collaborative future, with philanthropists leading the way towards solving the great challenges of our time,” Josef Stadler, head of ultra-high net worth wealth, UBS Global Wealth Management, said.

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