A new steering committee, made up of private bankers and lawyers, has been launched to develop and encourage the take-up of philanthropy advice services for wealthy individuals. The steering committee, which will be chaired by Dame Stephanie Shirley, the UK government’s ambassador for philanthropy, is being set up by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), whose recent report The business of philanthropy finds that although bankers and lawyers are becoming more interested in offering philanthropy advice to their clients, they are often ill equipped to do so. The committee will include representatives from, among others, J P Morgan, Coutts & Co and Withers solicitors.
In a sense this is the culmination of a significant groundswell of recent opinion and research that has highlighted the need for more and better philanthropy advice for the wealthy. The economic downturn has accentuated this in some respects: NPC’s report finds that donors are still keen to give but they want advice on how to do it well. NPC also calls on government to use its influence with UK banks to stimulate the development of new products and services to support effective philanthropy, and highlights the success of donor-advised funds run by leading financial services providers in the US such as Fidelity, Vanguard, Merrill Lynch and Schwab.