British philanthropy is still booming

3rd October 2017

A recent report by the Charities Aid Foundation has revealed that the UK has slipped out of the top 10 most generous nations into 11th position.  The 2017 World Giving Index found that the share of the world’s population aged 15 or older who have helped a stranger or given time or money to charity dropped overall in 2016.  This drop was most noticeable in developed countries, such as the US and the UK.  Myanmar remained the world’s most generous country for the fourth year in a row.

However, before the dark clouds start descending, we at Kent Community Foundation believe that Britain’s philanthropy is not only thriving but seeing more creative solutions than ever before.

A closer look at the figures reveals that, on the whole, we are still more charitable than not. Just take a look at the response to disasters like the Grenfell Tower fire, where an estimated £18 to £20 million was raised for those affected by the fire. 

There are various reasons why people decide to donate to charity. For many wealthy individuals, philanthropy stems from a desire to 'give back' to those less fortunate.  

Traditionally philanthropists have donated directly to a specific charity or set up a foundation to achieve their aim, however the third-sector is now seeing a shift towards donor advised funds. Philanthropists are setting up funds with non-profit entities like community foundations which allow them to deposit money which is given out to beneficiaries in accordance with their wishes. Setting up trusts through community foundations like Kent Community Foundation offers individuals the chance to help their community by giving to smaller grassroots charities in areas of most need.

The major advantage of such funds (besides tax advantages) is that they offer flexibility. An individual can donate now but decide later where their funds should be ultimately directed. This is much more appealing than the initial outlay and ongoing administration costs involved in setting up a private foundation.   

In our view philanthropy remains as important and as attractive, as ever – it is just the way people are giving that is developing. 

Click here to find out more about how you can support your community through Kent Community Foundation.