Inspired by some of the globes high profile business leaders including Sean Parker, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, many of today’s emerging philanthropists are becoming more strategic in distributing their philanthropic capital. Rather than the annual donations or fundraising dinners, they’re focused on creating real step change in solving some of today’s global challenges.
The UK and especially London has become a global centre for philanthropic capital, largely due to the UK’s regulatory environment, transparency and favourable tax treatment for donors. This has helped spur this entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy.
When it comes to an entrepreneurial approach, the UK government and regulatory bodies also lead the way in creativity when it comes to the type of assets acceptable in funding Philanthropy. From Gifting Art and Antiquities to property, stocks and shares, philanthropists are increasingly taking advantage of this flexibility in addition to the traditional methods of funding.
The spread of the Donor Advised Fund (DAF) in recent years has helped Philanthropists focus on their strengths and leverage their business acumen for charitable benefit in addition to traditional giving. DAF’s are not new and whilst the UK is a little way behind the US according to NPT’s John Canady (FT, 4 Dec 2015); they are a cost effective sensible alternative. The benefits of anonymity alone, the ability to hold multiple assets and shares minimising potential capital gains liabilities all make the DAF more appealing than a publicly registered foundation.
The UK capital now has the most internationally diverse executive community (Deloitte, March2016) due to its ability to attract and develop leaders; London employs business pioneers from 95 nationalities, ahead of New York, Paris, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and Sydney. This coupled with one of the most favourable environments to international giving has seen a remarkable rise in diaspora giving and challenging the norms of traditional philanthropy. Successful in business, London provides the perfect incubator which allows the Philanthropist to go beyond traditional, year end grantmaking and try bold solutions that engage their passions.