Charities rely heavily on donations from wealthy individuals, but in the UK those individuals are not as generous as they might be. The richest 10 per cent of donors give only 1.1 per cent of their wealth, while a recent report from Barclays Wealth on the philanthropy of the very rich ranked the UK 14th out of the 15 countries surveyed. What can be done about it, asks a new report from New Philanthropy Capital (NPC)?
There are six main reasons why the rich don’t give more, according to Ten Ways to Boost Giving: it’s too complicated, they feel they can’t afford it, they find it hard to connect with a cause, they think charities are inefficient, they simply don’t think about giving, or they haven’t enjoyed previous experiences. The ten ways of the report’s title each offers practical means of overcoming one or other of these objections. They also specifically identify the parties – government, banks, charities, companies, donors, advisers, media – responsible for setting things in motion.
Banks, for instance, should help to simplify giving by developing new products and services to stimulate philanthropy. Companies and the government could help by making it easier for employees to give, and government should also legislate to reduce the cost of giving for individuals. Private client advisers should move philanthropy advice higher up their agenda and encourage people to get started as donors. Charities should learn how to manage their relations with donors better and communicate their impact, and institutional donors such as foundations should in turn share their knowledge about the impact of charities. In order to raise the profile of philanthropy, donors and the government should institute a ‘giving pledge’ while media partnerships should be established to champion giving.