Fundraising News: 'Media must do more' to encourage philanthropy

Some top British givers think the media should do more to encourage charitable giving, according to a survey undertaken by the Institute for Philanthropy.

Although the survey was sent out to 40 people, only 12 responded.

Despite the small number of responses, Beth Breeze, the institute's deputy director, said it still wanted to publicise the results because there was such a degree of unanimity.

Eleven of the respondents felt the media had the power to encourage the public to give and 10 said there was too little coverage of philanthropy in the media and that negative stories damaged philanthropy.

Eight of the 12 claimed they had been inspired by media coverage to support a particular cause, and only one felt the media was generally negative about philanthropy.

The survey results were launched to coincide with a lecture at the Institute for Philanthropy by Sir Tom Hunter, the sporting goods magnate knighted in June for his services to philanthropy and entrepreneurship.

Since establishing the Hunter Foundation in 1998, he has invested £35m in educational and enterprise projects across Scotland and has given at least £1m to the Make Poverty History campaign. He has also provided financial support to the Live8 concerts.

Nicholas Ferguson, chairman of the institute, told the audience of fundraisers, donors and journalists: "We need to command more attention within the press to make them more interested so they care more about it and are more involved."

Hunter added: "There is no point moaning about the press - you have to work with them. It's a two-way thing. There are a number of journalists who are interested, and I am encouraged."

Hunter spoke at the event to help promote philanthropy.

The philanthropists who completed the survey, most of whom donate more than £10,000 each year and have made individual gifts of up to £1.5m, offered ideas on how the media could inspire interest in charitable giving.

Breeze said: "If we saw more coverage of philanthropy in the media, that might encourage everyone to put their hands in their pockets and dig a bit deeper to support the many good causes that rely on donated income."

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