A Forest of Funders

The challenge

Each tree represents a funder. The features of a tree, such as its height and width, show key characteristics of the funder, such as the number of grants they have awarded and their areas of focus.

A forest of funders

The 1st-8th largest funders
The 9th-16th largest funders
The 17th-20th largest funders, and the order of themes on the branches.
How to read a tree.

Technical details

Branching out from digital data visualisation

Physical data visualisations force the creator to carefully examine the data.

The landscape

The Giants: six funders who each awarded at least £50 million per year.
Rarities: The Gatsby Charitable Foundation and the London Councils gave a small number of large grants, while the Robertson Trust gave a relatively large number of small grants (amongst the 20 largest funders).

Who has funded what themes?


Specialist funders. The Department for Transport specialised in Science, Technology and Transport (first or lowest branch), Sport England specialised in Sport (fourth branch) and the Ministry of Justice specialised in Human Rights and Justice (eighth or highest branch)
Generalist funders who each gave at least 5% of their funding to six or more of the eight themes.


The individual trees for the 20 largest funders. They are ordered by the total value of funds awarded, from top left to bottom right.

Towards a clearer view

How can we ensure a clearer picture in future?




Quantitative research fellow specialising in data visualisation.

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Cath Sleeman

Cath Sleeman

Quantitative research fellow specialising in data visualisation.

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