We are funded by an endowment of over £1bn, underpinning our independence and ability to work for the long term. Investing this endowment enables us to spend around £40m per year on improving health and care and means we can operate as an entirely sustainable and independent foundation.
Where did the endowment come from?
The endowment began in 1998 with a one-off charitable donation of £560m, one of the largest in UK history. The donation resulted from the sale of PPP Healthcare group, a private health insurance organisation. PPP was a mutual fund with no shareholders, and the new organisation became the PPP Foundation in 2001.
Read more about our history.
Ensuring our independence
In 2003 the organisation was renamed the Health Foundation to signal its completely independent status as a grant-making charity. The Health Foundation has no connection to PPP and is accountable only to our independent Board of Governors and the Charity Commission. We value our independence highly.
The size of the endowment means that we do not need to fundraise to generate income. We receive a small amount of funding from grants, commissions and from our co-ownership of the BMJ Quality and Safety journal. Further details are available in our annual report and financial statements.
How we manage our endowment
We invest our endowment to ensure we can maintain its value in line with inflation, while also providing a spendable sum of around £40m per year (4% return) to fund the work of the Foundation.
This involves a careful balance of risk, spreading our investments across a wide range of asset types, and ensuring strong governance and oversight. It is also vital that we make decisions about investment in line with our values as an organisation and with our principles of responsible investment.
Our internal investment team is deliberately small and works alongside some important external advisers and investment managers who invest on our behalf. All their work is overseen through our robust governance structure. Ultimate responsibility rests with the Health Foundation’s Board of Governors, while the Investment committee makes key decisions on policy, investment managers and advisers. Our investment policy is updated every 3 years but monitored and evaluated continuously at regular meetings of the investment committee.