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Philanthropic Giving by Livery Companies

The Pan-Livery Initiative

This section provides a summary of:

  • The background to the Pan-Livery Initiative
  • The surveys of Philanthropic Giving by Livery Companies undertaken in 2020 and 2021
  • The Pan-Livery Pro Bono Interest Group

Background to the Pan-Livery Initiative
This was set up in 2017 with a view to developing a shared philanthropic endeavour, improving the culture of pan-livery engagement, and better understanding the nature and scale of this philanthropic effort in order to publicise it within the livery and beyond. Its activities have been overseen by a Pan-Livery Steering Group chaired by Past Lord Mayor Alderman Sir Charles Bowman and comprising senior representatives of the livery. Dr Bob Harris was invited to join the Steering Group and to lead a survey of philanthropic giving.

The 2020 Survey of Philanthropic Giving
The survey was launched in October 2020 and the report alongside (which can be accessed by clicking on the image) was published in February 2021.  It incorporates data from all 110 Livery Companies and several Guilds and Companies without Livery. Headline findings are that the aggregate financial support by Livery Companies of £72m per annum puts the livery movement in the top six grant makers in the UK. While the majority of financial giving derives from historical endowments managed by the older livery companies, an increasing element of philanthropic giving is in the form of professional pro-bono support - in which the Management Consultants are a leading player. 

The 2021 Survey of Philanthropic Giving
The second survey was launched in September 2021 and responses were analysed in early 2022 - thus covering a period heavily impacted by the covid pandemic. The findings from the survey again include data from all Livery Companies and are available here. They show that aggregate financial support increased by 4.4% over the 2020 figure to £75m. Donations and fundraising by Company Members increased by 11% from £115pp to £128pp, while the estimated value of pro bono and in-kind support increased by 20% to £6.8m. The latter is almost certainly a significant underestimate as many Companies do not yet report such information.

Pan-Livery Pro Bono Interest Group
As a result of the significant and increasing level of pro-bono support provided to charities by a growing number of Livery Companies, a Pan-Livery Interest Group was established in early 2022. It is coordinated by Bob Harris with support from the Information Technologists who kindly offered their Hall for the two meetings held to date. The intention is to share good practice, facilitate the growth of pro-bono support across the livery, and encourage inter-livery collaboration. The two meetings held in March and May 2022 drew attendees from 30 Livery Companies and Guilds and we can already report several examples of inter-livery working. A further programme of meetings is being planned.