Friday, February 04, 2011

Green Paper on Giving UK

UK government green paper on giving prompts flurry of reports and recommendations

GreenpaperA flurry of activity in December surrounding philanthropy, and involving almost all parties concerned, culminated in the launch of the UK government’s green paper on giving, in pursuance of its promise to encourage philanthropy.

Just prior to the release of the green paper, an independent review of philanthropy was set up to identify ways of achieving a step-change in levels of philanthropy and ‘hold the government to account’ on its promise to foster philanthropy. As well as a number of UK foundations and research agencies, the review will also involve the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and JP Morgan Private Bank. NCVOreportIn addition, the NCVO’s Funding Commission has produced Funding the Future, which suggests that individual giving can be increased from £11.3 billion to £20 billion by 2020, by ‘getting more people to give more than £100 per month and getting more of the very rich to give millions’. The government tax office also announced that it will be setting up a Charity Tax Forum to explore the recommendations of the recent Fanning Report on improving the Gift Aid system. Meanwhile, culture secretary Jeremy Hunt has launched a drive to boost arts philanthropy, which includes an £80 million match fund ‘to create a new generation of philanthropists’. Not to be left out of all this activity, business leaders at the first Pears Business School Partnership lecture at London Business School called for a new, more active approach to corporate philanthropy and an end to ‘short-term thinking’.

The focus of most of this activity is the green paper itself, which both sets out and asks for ideas – under the heads of opportunity, information, visibility, exchange and support – on how it can help foster a culture in which social action becomes ‘a truly mass phenomenon’. Among the ideas it throws up for consideration are the use of ATMs to give money, and a National Citizen Service which will be piloted in the summer of this year and will provide opportunities for 16-year-olds to give time. The public consultation around the paper is open until 9 March.

Philanthropy UK News, 10 December 2010

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