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Voluntary sector responds to Philanthropy Review

Thomas Hughes-Hallet’s review has received a warm welcome from voluntary sector bodies

The Philanthropy Review, chaired by Marie Curie Cancer Care chief executive Thomas Hughes-Hallett, has issued a “call-to-action” to increase charitable donations by £2bn by 2015.

The review proposes a number of measures to increase charitable giving, including:

• Banks and building societies to offer charity bank accounts to their customers

• Simpler tax incentives for charitable donations

• An increase in the amount of cash on which Gift Aid can be claimed from £5,000 to £50,000

• Asking businesses to adopt payroll giving

•The introduction of living legacies

Hughes-Hallett said:

“We are particularly keen to see more being given back to society by those who can well afford it.

“We know that people earning over £200,000 per year give, on average, £2 to charity for every £1,000 that they earn. Compare this with an equivalent £90 for every £1,000 among their peer group in the United States.” Less than four per cent of UK employees donate through a payroll scheme – the US figure is 35 per cent.

Here’s some of the reaction from the voluntary sector. Leave us a comment below, or send in your thoughts to us.

Hannah Terrey, Charities Aid Foundation, Head of Policy and Public Affairs

The perspective of the Philanthropy Review is valuable and a good addition to the ongoing debate about how the culture of giving can be strengthened and giving to charity can be made easier. We are excited about the potential of some of the recommendations. CAF are already taking steps to explore how we can make charitable bank accounts accessible to more people, building on our experience of offering charity accounts and hope to continue working with the Philanthropy Review to find the best way to make this possible. We have been calling for Lifetime Legacies for some time as we see huge potential in this form of giving and we will continue to work with others in the sector to take forward this idea. Business will play an important role in encouraging charitable giving and engaging with communities and they need to be a key part of the Government’s campaign to increase the awareness, and take up of payroll giving.

Karl Wilding, NCVO, Head of Policy, Research and Foresight

NCVO has long been discussing the potential to get more funding into the sector over the next ten years through increasing donations, philanthropy and legacies. This report shares many of the aspirations of our Funding Commission, which recommended a range of activity to see more giving millions, targeting high net-worth individuals, and more giving more, through helping current donors to give more effectively. We support a number of the report’s recommendations going forward.

Louise Richards, Institute of Fundraising, Director of Policy and Campaigns

As fundraisers we know that philanthropy is a broad term which can take on different meanings for different fundraising approaches and donor groups. It is important that we are clear about the way fundraising needs to encourage philanthropy and the changes to the way we operate as fundraisers that need to happen along the way. Of course, fundraising and giving to charity are two sides of the same coin. But without considered and careful investment in professional fundraising techniques, supported by the necessary joined up thinking from Government, charities will never benefit fully from the effects of the culture of encouraging philanthropy in the UK.

Diana Mackie, Institute of Fundraising, PR Manager

Our overall view on The Philanthropy Review is that while it might be the ‘road to new philanthropy’, it requires better signposting. The Review fails to reference the central role of fundraising in generating income for charities. It also lacks practical detail in terms of recommending how fundraisers can raise more money. However, we’d agree with some of the specific points of the report. For instance, it is a priority for us to improve the lack of evidence-based research in the sector, and we will develop a web portal containing UK specific research for fundraisers. The move by government to raise the donation levels cap on the Gift Aid reclaim rate in 2015 would also benefit our sector.

Joanna Motion, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Vice President International Operations

Lifetime legacies would be a valuable extra opportunity for fundraisers. Universities – which are charitable organisations – will be early adopters when they are introduced. Philanthropy Review is right to look for ways of encouraging gifts from the wealthy. The experience of the education sector – where the biggest gifts are concentrated – in engaging major donors can be helpful across the charity sector. But actions that encourage philanthropy to be a normal part of everyone’s lives are welcome. Between us, we have to build not just a culture of giving but also a culture of asking. Continuing investment in the training of professional fundraisers is key. Initiatives such as CASE’s Graduate Trainee fundraisers programme – made possible by the government’s £200m Matched Funding Scheme to encourage giving to universities – hold real promise for the future.

Alison Hutchinson, Pennies, Chief Executive

We are pleased to have worked with the Philanthropy Review and welcome their call to action, particularly the focus on making giving easy and the move to up the threshold on Gift Aid for small cash donations. Considered giving and encouraging those who have to give more is absolutely right. At the other end of the giving spectrum, micro-donation also has a valuable role to play, particularly as the way we shop changes to become card-based and more immediate. Pennies and the Philanthropy Review clearly have shared aims in making giving to charity a social norm. While a cultural shift is needed in attitudes towards charitable giving, we believe that technology has an important role in making giving easy.

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