Philanthropy models must be developed outside of London, charities minister urges


Philanthropy models must be “developed around the country” to maximise social impact, the Minister for Civil Society has said. 

Speaking yesterday at the philanthropy charity Beacon’s Philanthropy and Impact Forum, Stuart Andrew said: “We want to encourage more philanthropy, particularly at a regional level.”

He pointed to the West London Zone, a social outcomes partnership where philanthropic money is blended with national and local funds to provide support for children and young people in west London.

Andrew said that the partnership, which is partly funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, had “made a significant difference to children and young people’s life chances”.

But he added that “philanthropy is still primarily concentrated in London and the south”, adding: “So we want to explore how similar models could potentially be developed around the country that can maximise social impact.

Andrew said that DCMS wanted to explore how these models could “better reach marginalised communities, and can involve people of all backgrounds”.

He said: “Giving is in the DNA of this country. We know we have a proud tradition of philanthropy, but there is nonetheless plenty of room for growth.”

Andrew said: “We want to better enable philanthropy and ensure the UK continues to be a good place to give. This includes helping people understand how they can give.

“We are working with the Financial Conduct Authority, wealth management firms and the Treasury to explore the possibility of providing greater philanthropy training for financial advisers.”

Andrew added that his officials are collaborating with HMRC to “consider how the tax environment affects philanthropy, and are engaging with them on their potential work to digitalise Gift Aid”.

He said that DCMS was also focused on “unlocking the huge potential” of community development finance institutions.

“These regional lenders provide affordable loans in the UK’s most disadvantaged places,” he said. “Steps like these can make a huge difference for setting in place the right infrastructure across the country for both philanthropy and impact investing.”

Andrew said peer influence made a “huge difference” in philanthropy, adding that one-third of wealthy donors report donating after encouragement from friends or family.

He said: “So we want to help bring together established philanthropists, and high-net-worth individuals, with the next wave of budding donors, who are socially conscious and want to make an impact.

“We also want to champion campaigns and events that highlight the impact of giving,” he added.

Andrew said that the government wanted to “help lead this conversation” but it “cannot, and should not, drive this alone”.

He said that high-net-worth individuals and impact investors need to “play an active role”, adding: “We need to be hearing from those making a difference with their giving, for us to amplify their voices.”

“I look forward to continuing to work closely with the philanthropy sector to help it grow to its full potential,” Andrew concluded.

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