Voluntary and financial sector leaders will be meeting later this month to discuss introducing US-style "planned-giving
financial products to Britain.
In the US, planned giving generates more than 40 per cent of voluntary income. Only 10 per cent of this comes from legacies, the rest is raised through a series of financial products that benefit the donor, the charity and the financial services provider.
Planned giving could be introduced using financial services vehicles such as pooled income funds. Sector representatives will also discuss the possibility of encouraging donors to name charities as beneficiaries in life insurance policies, and to "gift
property (which is then handed over to a charity on the death of the donor). The meeting will discuss the feasibility of introducing planned-giving financial products to the UK fundraising market and the institutional, legislative, commercial and organisational barriers that might block their successful introduction.
The meeting has been organised by the Giving Campaign and the Centre for Voluntary Sector Management at Henley Management College as part of a three-month project looking at planned giving. Amanda Delew, a director at the Giving Campaign, said: "We would like to make sure that planned giving becomes a part of people's financial planning."
The Giving Campaign has already been working with financial advisers to encourage them to promote tax-effective giving.
According to the college, recent figures from the US show that individuals give 1.9 per cent of their income to not-for-profit organisations, while in Britain charitable giving is less than 1 per cent. Adrian Sargeant, professor of voluntary sector management at the college, said that the high levels of giving in the US could be because "various segments of society are offered fundraising products appropriate to their needs. There is a glaring hole in our current fundraising portfolio. We have, as yet, failed to consider the possibilities of allowing individuals to engage in planned giving."
The results of the project will be published and sent to the Treasury and also be made available to fundraising groups and the financial services centre.
Sargeant said: "In the long term, this project may see the start of more joined-up thinking and partnership between charities and financial services."