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UK needs 'giving pledge' for philanthropists, says NPC

03 Mar 2011 News

New Philanthropy Capital suggests the UK should develop a Bill Gates-style “giving pledge” for home-grown philanthropists, as part of a ten-point plan to boost giving in the country.

Bill Gates launched the giving pledge in the United States

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) suggests the UK should develop a Bill Gates-style “giving pledge” for home-grown philanthropists, as part of a ten-point plan to boost giving in the country.

The rich in the UK need to, and can, give more, NPC says in a report outlining ways in which to incentivise and mobilise greater levels of giving, particularly among the wealthy. The report was released today, just six days before the end of the consultation period for the government’s Giving Green Paper which , and from which planned and thoughtful giving by the wealthy was “largely absent”, according to NPC.

Advocating a to encourage ultra high net worth donors to publicly commit to donating a specific percentage of their wealth, which NPC says could be led by a group of millionaires rather than one of the UK’s 53 billionaires, is just one of ten recommendations made by NPC in a report which aims to overcome barriers to unleashing high end philanthropy.

Government, companies, private wealth advisers and charities have a role to play in developing a range of giving mechanisms, raising the profile of philanthropy and making philanthropy more worthwhile for the donor, according to the report.

The recommendations include reforming gift aid and introducing lifetime legacies to make giving feel more affordable to high end donors. Both of these possibilities were ignored by the Giving Green Paper.  

Payroll giving also gets a look-in, with NPC highlighting this as a particular area of potential growth and recommending that companies incentivise their workers by matching donations.

There is a significant role for private client advisors and banks to encourage philanthropy higher up the agenda of clients, and NPC suggests the development of giving-specific instruments, such as donor advised funds, private ancillary funds and giving accounts to help spur growth in this area.

NPC, which has long advocated charity impact reporting, not surprisingly also suggests that should charities be more vocal about their impact, and funders share their knowledge about the results of charity work, the perception among some potential donors that charities are inefficient would be an obstacle breached.

Each of its ten recommendations aim to tear down one of the regular barriers to particularly high-end philanthropy, namely the perception that donors can’t afford to give, don’t think about giving, and believe that giving is complicated and that charities inefficient. 

Bill Gates (pictured) launched The Giving Pledge in the United States and has so far encouraged more than 60 of the wealthiest men and women in America to donate the majority of their wealth to the philanthropic causes and charitable organizations of their choice either during their lifetime or after their death. 

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