Driving philanthropic excellence: findings from the Foundation Practice Rating 2024 report

This year, FPR randomly selected 16 community foundations among other UK foundations to rate the diversity, accountability and transparency of their practices. We talk about the report's findings.

This year's Foundation Practice Rating 2024 Report offers an insightful analysis of UK-based charitable foundations’ operational performances, highlighting examples of commendable achievement and opportunities for growth.

  

The Foundation Practice Rating (FPR), developed by a consortium of philanthropy experts and practitioners, serves as a robust framework for evaluating the operational practices of various foundations, including community foundations.  The FPR does this by providing an annual rating for randomly selected foundations.

This year’s FPR report has evaluated UK-based charitable foundations on the accountability, diversity and transparency of their practices by assessing their public domains.  We commend all the community foundations in the report that have streamlined their grant-making procedures to ensure fairness, accessibility and responsiveness to local needs.  At the same time, we acknowledge the need for continuous improvement to optimise the impact and inclusiveness of grant making and strengthen community engagement.

Furthermore, the report's examination of impact measurement and evaluation resonates deeply with our network's commitment to evidence-based philanthropy.  Community foundations play a vital role in driving positive social change, and robust impact measurement frameworks are essential for gauging progress, learning from experiences and refining strategies.

In the last three years, varied numbers of community foundations have been selected, with one achieving an overall A each year.  In the launch event of this year’s report, Caroline Fiennes from Giving Evidence stated that "community foundations in general have outperformed the general sector."

We are delighted that every community foundation this year (16 in total) has achieved an A in at least one category.  They are Bedfordshire and Luton Community Foundation, County Durham Community Foundation, Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, Community Foundations for Lancashire and Merseyside, Cornwall Community Foundation, Devon Community Foundation, Gloucestershire Community Foundation, Herefordshire Community Foundation, Hertfordshire Community Foundation, Kent Community Foundation, Leeds Community Foundation, Leicestershire and Rutland Community Foundation, Lincolnshire Community Foundation, The London Community Foundation, One Community Foundation (Kirklees) and South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation.

Congratulations to Gloucestershire Community Foundation for achieving an overall A in the scoring.  We also congratulate Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland (CFTWN) for its exceptional performance.  As the recipient of the first-ever AAA rating, CFTWN achieved the very first A in diversity, a criterion not as prominently featured on websites compared to transparency and accessibility criteria.

On recognising the triple A rating, Rob Williamson OBE DL, CEO of Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, said: “We are delighted to get a triple-A rating following the researchers’ analysis.  It’s a testament to our team and trustees for whom diversity, accountability and transparency are vital parts of our work.  But we’re not complacent and know we have more we can and should do.”

Even for foundations not included in this year's rating process, the Foundation Practice Rating serves as a valuable benchmark for recognising areas of improvement and setting standards for our organisations and the wider sector.  You can find the full report here.

How are we making an impact?

Learn more about our members and how they support the work of UK communities.

Discover more

Photo of Rosemary Macdonald BEM
CEO, Rosemary Macdonald BEM, is departing UKCF
May 22 2024
A female professional person sits on a sofa with a pen and paper, talking to a young adult female who sits on the sofa next to her.
Today we have launched our new Care Leavers Programme
April 18 2024
Graphic of webpage and a cog with rated stars above it.
Driving philanthropic excellence: findings from the Foundation Practice Rating 2024 report
March 14 2024
Skyline view of Liverpool
How community campaigning can tackle air pollution
February 26 2024