Grant-making foundations in the UK are locked in a time warp and lag behind modern developments, according to Lord Trevor Smith, trustee of non-charitable foundation the Rowntree Reform Trust.
He was due to speak at Charityfair 2003, run by the Directory of Social Change and the Association of Charitable Foundations until Thursday at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.
His speech focused on From Charity to Creativity, a report written last year by Helmut Anheier and Diana Leat, of the London School of Economics.
The report argues that foundations must become more innovative and creative to justify their favourable tax treatment and other privileges.
Smith said that foundations could contribute much more to society and the standard project grant is becoming defunct.
Other speakers at Charityfair include consultant David Carrington and Community Fund chair Lady Diana Brittan.