Philanthropy alone cannot replace lost government funding, claims report

A report by the Community Foundation for Merseyside says wealthy individuals should work strategically with other funders

Cathy Elliott, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Merseyside
Cathy Elliott, chief executive of the Community Foundation for Merseyside

Philanthropy cannot fill the gap caused by cuts in government funding, according to a report published today by the Community Foundation for Merseyside.

Desperate Times? Desperate Measures? asks whether wealthy donors should step into the gap left by the loss of state funding.

The report by Cathy Elliott, chief executive of the foundation, concludes that the loss of state funding is too great for individuals to fill and that philanthropists should work with other funders to tackle problems more strategically.

"Desperate times do not call for desperate measures," said Elliott. "We need to work together across sectors to understand the new landscape, and create, test and develop a new 21st-century model together."

The report says there is a convergence between charities and businesses.

"Smaller, nimbler and more accountable charities are becoming increasingly attractive to donors compared to the large, traditional charities," it says. "We will see the emergence of more commercial ventures, which have a philanthropic aim at their core."

The publication of the report is being accompanied by the foundation’s autumn philanthropy seminar in Liverpool.

Guest speakers include Sir Terry Leahy, former chief executive of Tesco, and Frank Field, Labour MP for Birkenhead.

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