Government 'must act' to encourage philanthropy

The Government should change the tax system and give greater recognition to volunteers if it wants to create a new generation of philanthropists, according to a manifesto put together by culture groups.

Private Giving for the Public Good calls for government to:
  • Simplify the process of claiming Gift Aid, including for those in the 40p tax band;
  • Develop ‘lifetime legacies’ – a scheme that would allow a donor to give a large sum during his or her lifetime instead of waiting to leave a legacy. The donor would be able to receive tax and interest incentives;
  • Give tax relief on the donation of cultural objects.
The report, which was launched on 25 April at the V&A Museum in west London, was published by the National Museum Directors’ Conference, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and Arts Council England. It is supported by a number of charities, including the National Trust and Arts & Business.

Tony Burton, director of strategy and external affairs at the National Trust, said: “There is an urgent need to make giving easier and increase awareness about how individuals can help make a difference. By celebrating and rewarding the culture of giving we can create a more philanthropic nation.”

Colin Tweedy, chief executive of Arts & Business, said organisations had a shared imperative to increase giving. “Cultural philanthropy will not increase because a report calls for it or because the cultural sector needs it or because society is generally richer,” he said. “It will happen only if we can ensure the sector develops the right relationships with potential donors, is clear about its ‘ask’ and effective in its management of those donors, whether they are giving £1 or £1m.”

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