A steering group for the philanthropy advice field

Alliance magazine

A steering group of individuals and organizations involved in providing philanthropy advice was created in late 2009 with the aim of stimulating the provision of and take-up of good philanthropy advice in the UK. New Philanthropy Capital’s research, The Business of Philanthropy, concluded that, despite the past decade’s rise in giving, both the demand for and supply of philanthropy advice remain modest at best: few donors actually receive professional advice about their giving, and few professional advisers are integrating philanthropy into their businesses.

Private client advisers, such as lawyers and bankers, are in an ideal position to reach and advise existing and potential philanthropists, but a significant opportunity is being missed. There are benefits to both donor and private client adviser from good philanthropy advice.

Philanthropists can be supported in clarifying their objectives, reviewing their giving, monitoring their grants or deciding which charities will make the most of their funds. For bankers, lawyers, multi-family offices and other advisers, philanthropy advice can significantly enhance the client relationship. As the head of a UK private bank said, ‘I can’t quantify it, but I know that relationships deepen if you can talk more knowledgeably about philanthropy.’ Yet few advisers see these benefits, and few donors understand the value of good advice.

The steering group was formed to address these issues. Its aims include promoting philanthropy advice as widely as possible and establishing standards of best practice. In one early initiative, the group is pulling together case studies of how good philanthropy advice has helped donors increase the impact of their giving, while another set of case studies will demonstrate the benefits for advisers when they help clients with their philanthropy.

The group is chaired by Dame Stephanie Shirley, the UK’s ambassador for philanthropy, and is made up of private bankers, private client lawyers and accountants and advisers from family offices. It also includes specialist philanthropy organizations and industry bodies, such as STEP (Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners) and EAPG (European Association of Philanthropy and Giving).

For more information
Visit http://www.philanthropycapital.org/how_we_help/big_ideas/steering_group_of_advisors.aspx or contact Plum Lomax at PLomax@philanthropycapital.org

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