Call to give philanthropists tax breaks when they donate to poor areas

Giving zones among suggestions in Community Foundation Network's manifesto

Major donors should pay less tax if they make donations to charities based in disadvantaged regions, according to the Community Foundation Network.

The network represents charities that support local communities. The recommendation is one of 29 made in its Manifesto for Community Philanthropists, published this week.

The manifesto proposes the creation of ‘special giving zones’, modelled on social exclusion zones, that would encourage investment in services to disadvantaged communities. Any individual or company giving to charities that work in these zones would get favourable tax treatment.

Other recommendations include the creation of bank-gifting accounts to simplify giving and a £30m philanthropy infrastructure investment fund to help smaller charities set up online donation systems.

Stephen Hammersley, chief executive of the network, said the manifesto was drawn up to promote grassroots giving. "Community charities need to receive independent and sustained funding," he said. "The manifesto is an exploration of possible ways they can achieve that."

Matthew Bowcock, chair of the network, said: "I strongly urge all political parties to take a long, hard look at our recommendations ahead of the general election."

CFN is encouraging members to submit feedback on the proposals before official publication of the manifesto this autumn.

Sarah Townsend recommends

Community Foundation Network

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