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UK Demand for Philanthropic Advice "Modest"

31 March 2010 at 4:08 pm
Staff Reporter
The demand for professional philanthropic advice in the UK is modest and disappointing according to new research.

Staff Reporter | 31 March 2010 at 4:08 pm


UK Demand for Philanthropic Advice "Modest"
31 March 2010 at 4:08 pm

Following the rise in philanthropic giving over the past decade, philanthropy advice should be booming in the UK. However new research says despite this growth, the demand for professional advice remains modest.

As well, few donors even realise they can get professional advice on giving, and many are unclear about its value, according to research by New Philanthropy Capital (NPC), a charity think tank and consultancy.

The report finds that philanthropy is growing despite the economic downturn—there are signs that donors are still keen to give but in a more strategic way, and they want advice on how to do it well. The report called The business of Philanthropy, finds that although bankers and lawyers are becoming more interested in offering philanthropy advice to their clients, the quality of advice is disappointing.

As a result of the research, 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.

Chaired by Dame Stephanie Shirley, the UK government’s ambassador for philanthropy, the committee was created with nineteen members from the industry, including private banks such as Coutts & Co, JP Morgan and Barclays Wealth, and law firms such as Withers and Bircham Dyson Bell.

NPC says it is the first time they have worked together on such a scale to develop this kind of initiative.

As well NPC has called on the UK Government to use its influence with UK banks to stimulate the development of new products and services that support effective philanthropy. It highlights the success of donor-advised funds run by leading financial services providers in the US, such as Fidelity, Vanguard, Merrill Lynch and Schwab.

Dame Stephanie Shirley, agrees that it’s time philanthropy advice became more widespread, and says that although the past decade has seen a significant increase in philanthropy in the UK, giving is still not embedded into the culture of this country.

The research can be downloaded at


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