Only 5% of the UK’s Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) population – defined as those with investable assets in excess of £10 million – give significantly.   Research commissioned by The Beacon Collaborative https://www.beaconawards.org.uk/ indicates that the median annual donation by UHNWs is an incredibly low sum – only £240.

 

Making a Change

Someone trying to change this – with the aim of encouraging peers to increase annual charitable giving collectively by £2 billion – is the inspirational figure of Matthew Bowcock, who has a  background in tech entrepreneurship.

Matthew was previously Chairman of UK Community Foundations.  We ourselves provide pro bono services to Cheshire Community Foundation and one of our Directors, Heather Cunningham is Trustee and Treasurer for Cheshire Community Foundation (CCF), http://cheshirecommunityfoundation.org.uk/. This has great impact in such areas as tackling mental health issues throughout Cheshire.  Some of our clients hold donor funds with CCF and get great enjoyment from visiting projects and seeing their funds being used by many fantastic small charities.

 

An Accountant’s Perspective

As accountants we often approach philanthropy and charitable giving from the tax perspective.  After all there is up to 60% tax relief on personal charitable donations;  assets gifted to charity can escape capital gains tax;  legacies to charity are IHT free;  the IHT rate on the taxable estate can be reduced from 40% to 36% by gifting 10% of the taxable estate to charity;  corporate charitable donations receive corporation tax relief.

For many clients, a few annual sponsorships on Just Giving is great and added together these do have real impact.

 

The Wider Conversation

But for those who want to derive personal satisfaction and enjoyment, there is a much wider conversation.  This may be:

  • Reviewing your personal and family objectives
  • Understanding your objectives and areas of interest
  • Providing an overview of options
  • Structuring vehicle / tax implications
  • Facilitating family involvement
  • Knowledge building
  • Meeting other donors
  • Sourcing charities
  • Finding co-funding opportunities
  • Due diligence
  • Getting good impact reporting

Sometimes advisers are reticent to start that conversation – but if this is an area of interest we are ready to chat.

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