UK Manifesto for Community Philanthropists Launched
14 September 2009 at 2:00 pm
The Community Foundation Network (CFN) in the UK has produced what it describes as the first ever Manifesto for Community Philanthropists – a package of measures to promote grassroots giving including the promotion of philanthropy in schools.
The manifesto is the result of nine months research by a working group of donors, grant makers and academics led by CFN Chair and community philanthropist, Matthew Bowcock, and overseen by Baroness Prashar, CFN’s Honorary President.
Among the manifesto’s 29 recommendations are calls for:
· The creation of special giving zones with favourable tax treatment for donors, modelled on social exclusion zones, and designed to prioritise investments in services in areas of greatest need.
· The use by the Government of its majority shareholding in many banks to bring about the creation of bank gifting accounts to simplify giving and ensure tax efficiency.
· The establishment of a system of lifetime legacies, to enable philanthropists to release funds earlier from their estates and enjoy and engage with their giving during their lifetimes.
· The setting up of a £30 million ’Philanthropy Infrastructure Investment Fund’ to provide seed capital to support IT projects to release more giving.
· The promotion of philanthropy in schools, through real life philanthropic experiences and opportunities. Encourage the UK Government to work in partnership with private trusts, to introduce programmes such as Youth Philanthropy Initiative throughout all state schools.
Launching the manifesto, Matthew Bowcock said local people need to be empowered to fund and deliver change within their own communities.
Bowcock said in times when money is tight, there are far too many obstacles to philanthropists who want to engage with local groups to bring about change.
He said the CFN recommendations include major reforms to the banking, taxation and the education systems to both release more funds today and promote a culture of giving in the future.
He described the manifesto as the most comprehensive package of measures ever published from the viewpoint of the community philanthropists.
In drawing up the manifesto CFN called on the experience of 57 local foundations, which together make around £70 million in grants to grassroots organisations every year.
The Manifesto can be downloaded at www.communityfoundations.org.uk/manifesto