Think tank urges banks to develop philanthropy-friendly products

Ten Ways to Boost Giving, by New Philanthropy Capital, suggests making charitable giving accounts and donor-advised funds more widely available

New Philanthropy Capital
New Philanthropy Capital

Banks should develop new products that encourage philanthropy, according to a new report from the think tank New Philanthropy Capital.

Ten Ways to Boost Giving, published today, says there must be a "greater focus on stimulating philanthropy", which was an area "largely missing in the [Giving Green Paper]".

One of the 10 ways it suggests is asking banks to offer "philanthropic products that make it routine and straightforward to give".

The report also considers charitable giving accounts and donor-advised funds - charitable investment accounts that individuals, families and organisations can use to manage their giving.

The paper says making such products more widely available would produce benefits for charities, through increased donations, and for banks, by helping them to improve their image.

The report is critical of charities that concentrate on administrative costs as a way of demonstrating their efficiency to donors.

It says that it is often not possible to compare these costs between different charities and that a charity with comparatively low administrative costs might still be ineffective in terms of helping its beneficiaries.

The report says Oxfam’s recent campaign with PayPal, in which the online payments company covered all of the running costs so that 100 per cent of donations went directly to the cause, was unhelpful in this area.

"This perpetuates the perception that running costs do not contribute directly to a charity achieving results," says the report.

"As charities are not yet communicating their impact, donors will continue to focus on efficiency and costs when thinking about giving."

The report also calls for a giving pledge, similar to that launched by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet in the US last year, to be launched in the UK. This asks very rich people to pledge to donate a certain percentage of their wealth to charity.

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