The Charities Aid Foundation is calling on directly elected mayors in England to "kick-start a new culture of civic philanthropy" in their local areas.
CAF said it would write to the 23 directly elected mayors in England, asking them to tackle a long cycle of decline in civic philanthropy by playing a leading role in attracting charitable donations from philanthropists and businesses in their area.
In a discussion paper published today, CAF calls on mayors to consider measures including a mayor’s fund to attract donations for local issues, a philanthropy strategy and appointing a philanthropy liaison officer to develop relationships with potential philanthropists and local charities.
The paper sets out how mayors could take inspiration from some of the philanthropic mayors of the past, including Andrew Barclay-Walker in Liverpool or Joseph Strutt in Derby.
Rhodri Davies, programme leader of the Giving Thought policy programme at CAF, said: "Philanthropy played a huge role in the development of many of the UK’s great towns and cities. There has also long been a close relationship between the role of local mayors and that of civic philanthropists.
"The introduction of directly elected mayors in the UK thus offers a real opportunity to breathe new life into civic philanthropy, which has long been in decline.
"By championing local giving and putting in place the right structures and strategies, mayors have a golden opportunity to embrace the generosity of people and business to help address local issues."