Fundraising News: Big guns to brainstorm charitable giving ideas

Lord Richard Best, the chairman of the Giving Forum, is to meet directors of the Charities Aid Foundation next week to draw up a top-20 list of ways to boost giving in the UK.

Lord Best said dozens of ideas were floating around the sector and they needed to be distilled into a concrete shortlist of proposals that could be piloted to test their effectiveness.

Some of these ideas were new thoughts, he said, but just as many were existing fundraising methods that simply needed to be marketed better.

"It might be a matter of doing more with the carrots we've got," he said.

"The Government has already done a lot for the sector in terms of tax relief and helpful gestures.

"It might be that it is better to try to make more of these instead of having to come up with a new wheeze all the time."

However, that is not to say "new wheezes" shouldn't be explored too, according to Lord Best, who has three ideas himself that are likely to make it onto the list.

His personal favourite is Give As You Govern, an initiative to encourage trustees and members of quango boards to donate the fees they earn.

"There are 30,000 people who receive regular fees for being on quangos or health trusts or for being trustees of housing associations," he said.

"They don't need the money; they should give it to charity."

This idea could be expanded to target non-executive board members of private companies, he added. Trustees of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, of which Best is chief executive, are given £5,000 a year to donate to charities of their choice.

Give As You Learn and Give As You Gamble are his other proposals. The first would see school pupils getting sponsored for events, with parents voting on how the funds raised are spent.

The second would see Premium Bonds millionaire winners given the option of setting up their own charitable trusts.

The list, to be drawn up by Best, CAF chief executive Stephen Ainger and director of external affairs Simon Hebditch next week, will be considered by the next meeting of the Giving Forum on 29 November.

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