Charities need to be more aware of the financial community if they are to help develop a culture of philanthropic giving in the UK, according to a seminar jointly hosted by the Giving Campaign and the Institute for Philanthropy in London last week.
The seminar looked at the role of the financial adviser in encouraging charitable giving. Peter Gilheany, communications manager at the Giving Campaign, said it was vital that charities did all they could to promote philanthropic interests in the financial sector.
"Research we conducted in 2001 shows that just 18 per cent of financial advisers mention charitable giving to their clients compared with 90 per cent in the US," he said. "If we could boost that 18 per cent up to even half the level of the US, it would have a major effect on the amount of money coming into the sector."
Gilheany said that charities could do more to promote the business benefits of charitable giving - such as boosting corporate image and strengthening relationships with employees - to financial advisers.
"There is a natural suspicion between the voluntary and financial sector which doesn't make them ideal bedfellows," said Gilheany. "But new products such as the charity ISA will give charities the opportunity to develop in this market and they must make sure they know as much as they can about the most effective way to take advantage of this."