UK Grantmaking 2021-22: A snapshot
360Giving is pleased to share the Grantmaking 2021-22 Snapshot, which serves as an interactive and accessible resource for anyone interested in exploring grantmaking data through a wealth of data compiled from multiple sources.
The 360Giving Strategy, Unleashing the Impact of Grants Data, includes a goal to inform decision-making and inspire practice. We seek to do this through sharing analysis and insights from the data that has been published using the 360Giving Data Standard, but also through putting the data into a wider context.
To this end, we have produced this analysis of grantmaking in 2021-22 to explore this wider context and understanding of the grantmaking picture and see what might be possible with the data that is available.
Following on from our well-received and impactful research reports on UK Covid relief and recovery grants, Specialist Legal Advice Funding, and Sector Infrastructure Funding, this marks our first step into producing UK grantmaking sector-wide analysis. We hope this provides both useful insights but also a foundation for developing more useful and impactful research going forward.
The analysis provides a consolidated view of grantmaking data in a concise and accessible format through interactive visualisations. By collating information from multiple funder types, it offers valuable insights into the landscape of funding in the UK, presented together for the first time. This allows for a deeper understanding of philanthropic efforts and by putting these into a wider context, highlights patterns, as well as making it easier to see what further data is needed in the future to provide a fuller account of UK grantmaking.
This snapshot analysis is more than just a one-time publication; it represents a stepping stone toward a more ambitious long-term vision. We want to look at how this approach could be expanded to be more useful for users. These future plans include incorporating additional data sources,working with partners to expand the data and analysis included, and consolidating sector information to have a central hub for grantmaking data – and a new platform to make it even more accessible.
As this research initiative evolves, it is our intention to enhance the information available by expanding its coverage, looking at trends in the data, exploring where the grants are going in more depth, and deepening its analytical capabilities. This will provide a more comprehensive picture of funding activities across diverse sectors and geographies, enabling stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the picture.
Furthermore, we hope the work will serve as a foundation for future research and analysis. Aligned with our value of Openness, researchers, policymakers, and advocates will have access to a dataset that is published alongside the analysis which can inform discussions and be used to identify potential collaborators.
Looking ahead, we want this analysis to contribute to continuous improvement and learning within the sector. By tracking changes over time and enabling comparisons between different periods and funder types, the report will facilitate the identification of emerging trends, successes, and challenges. This valuable insight can drive strategic planning, resource allocation, and policy development, resulting in more effective and impactful philanthropic efforts.
We hope it will serve as a catalyst for encouraging grantmakers to publish and regularly update their data using the 360Giving Data Standard. By embracing this way of sharing information about their grantmaking, funders can ensure their data is accessible, interoperable, and ready for analysis. This collective commitment to open data will strengthen the sector’s ability to collaborate, learn from one another, and tackle complex societal issues together.
Producing the report also allowed us to better understand the data that is available and use this learning to inform future approaches. This included:
- Inconsistent and variable quality data from regulators
- Charity Commission for England and Wales, Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator and Charity Commission for Northern Ireland all have different information available on the registers, making it hard to identify the grantmakers and compile data needed for the report
- Only the large grantmakers are required to complete a Charity Commission for England and Wales Annual Return, so grantmaking expenditure was not available for all organisations and required manual checking. Even those that are required to complete an Annual Return were only required to include their Grants to Institutions until 2023, so grants to individuals data was not available and was manually researched and included where known
- A number of organisations had marked on the Charity Commission for England and Wales register that they mainly delivered their activities through grantmaking, but that indicator was not always reliable
- Information from organisations not registered as charities was very hard to identify – including charitable grantmakers registered as companies or mutuals or where grantmaking is part of a wider organisation.
- Missing data from priority funders – publishing data using the 360Giving Data Standard is voluntary, so we will never have a comprehensive data set for all UK grantmakers. We needed to manually add information for a number of funders from their published accounts or add other data sources to support our understanding of the picture overall.
- Variable quality of grants data published – for example, only 36% of grants include grant duration in the data (an optional but recommended field) and as a result, it was hard to put the grant size into the context of the length of the grants. Publishing location data is also recommended but optional, and variations in quality and type of geodata share also meant we could not provide detailed geographical breakdowns of grantmaking.
- Categorisation of where grants are going were difficult to identify, as not all funded organisations are registered charities. For those that are registered charities, the categories are only available in England and Wales and improvements from the review of categories in 2022 have not been implemented by the Charity Commission yet.
The 360Giving snapshot represents a milestone in bringing together the grantmaking context. While it provides a valuable snapshot of the state of grantmaking in 2021-22, its purpose extends beyond mere observation. By consolidating funding data and presenting it in a user-friendly format, the snapshot will support discussions and provide an avenue for future development.
None of this research would be possible without the many grantmakers of all types and sizes from across the UK sharing their grants data using the 360Giving Data Standard. Each organisation’s commitment to sharing their grants information in a useful and usable way is transforming the knowledge base of the sector, so our sincere thanks for everyone who is contributing to grantmaking in the UK being more informed, effective and strategic.
Share your feedback to inform our research
As we learn from this first step into sector-wide analysis and develop the approach, we’re keen to understand how this can be expanded and made more useful. What would you like to see in the trends report to be produced in 2024? Please give your feedback on the approach and what you’d find useful going forward.