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How transparent are charitable foundations? A large-scale comparison of transparency levels in grant-making trusts and foundations in England and Wales

Abnett, Helen, de Vries, Robert (2022) How transparent are charitable foundations? A large-scale comparison of transparency levels in grant-making trusts and foundations in England and Wales. Voluntary Sector Review, . pp. 1-25. ISSN 2040-8056. E-ISSN 2040-8064. (doi:10.1332/204080521x16681854150102) (KAR id:99348)

Abstract

Debate on the role of charitable grant-making foundations often references concerns about their lack of transparency. There has, however, been limited empirical investigation of foundation transparency levels. In this study, we report the largest-ever investigation of transparency among grant-making foundations in England and Wales. Based on a novel dataset, which captures the level of grant-specific data published by more than 2,200 foundations over five years from 2014 to 2018 (inclusive), we find that: (a) overall, these foundations are transparent in their disclosure of grant-specific data; (b) the results also paint a picture of stability – of those foundations with published trustees’ annual reports and accounts in all five years of this study, 78 per cent had the same disclosure practice throughout; and (c) a specific regulatory change mandating grant-specific disclosure has not substantially increased levels of disclosure. This study therefore provides detailed evidence that contributes to and expands the conversation on English and Welsh foundation transparency.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1332/204080521x16681854150102
Uncontrolled keywords: foundations; transparency; accountability; regulation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Funders: University of Kent (https://ror.org/00xkeyj56)
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2023 15:41 UTC
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2024 15:29 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/99348 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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