Our Current Projects

Since 2007, there have been more than two dozen studies that have analysed the behaviour of wealthy UK donors. Yet, the uncomfortable truth remains that we have little insight on how to overcome the barriers that stop wealthy people giving more.

This study is underway to fill this significant gap in knowledge in order to identify what targeted activities will encourage different groups to start giving in the ways that are most meaningful to them.

Using demographic and behavioural analysis, we anticipate releasing findings in early 2020 that identify what makes different kinds of givers tick, including:

  • What are their ambitions in relation to social engagement?
  • To what extent are they supported in these ambitions currently and how support could be enhanced?
  • How would they like to give?
  • What have been their positive and negative experiences so far?

The goal is to provide practical recommendations that will support the fundraising community to enhance their donor engagement among wealthy individuals.

The core research partners include the Institute of Fundraising, Savanta Group and Cultural Dynamics Strategy & Marketing Ltd who are supported by a cross-sector working group headed by:

The findings from this research will be available from the website of the Institute of Fundraising.

Alongside this, the full data set will be provided open-source so that it may be used to strengthen the evidence-based policy making and programme development of organisations and individuals across the sector.

Working with all the partners of the Beacon Collaborative, Ernst & Young (EY) is spearheading a two-phase project to strengthen the UK’s current position and ecosystem as a centre for international philanthropy and social investment.

In phase one, EY is developing a directory of resources that will identify what advice and services are available to philanthropists and social investors in the UK.

Once this initial landscaping is complete, EY will undertake further jurisdictional analysis and a comprehensive analysis of the current strengths and weaknesses of the UK. The aim is to develop recommendations on how the UK can become more accessible and competitive as a global centre for philanthropy and social investment.

Historically, the Beacon Awards have celebrated the extraordinary and transformational achievements of individuals and families who have, each in their own ways, brought about lasting social change through their conviction, their determination and their generosity. The awards celebrated their work in order to inspire others to follow suit.

Looking ahead, Beacon wants to extend its role as a champion for philanthropy beyond the traditional awards format. We want to find new ways to celebrate and promote giving and social investment across all our communities, highlighting the many positive ways that wealthy people engage in civil society.

This is why Beacon has commissioned a piece of research led by Andrew Watt, former President & CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in the US, to identify a new strategy for raising public awareness for the positive role philanthropy plays in our society.

Developing connections between elected politicians, government departments, philanthropists, social investors and experts will increase understanding of the role of philanthropy, giving and social investment in our civil society.

Working cross-sector, with  Philanthropy Impact acting as secretariat, an APPG on Philanthropy & Social Investment launched on 8th July 2019 chaired by Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. Over the next five years, the APPG will host a series of high-level roundtables enabling discussion that will develop policies to improve and increase the amount of giving and social investment in the UK.

The APPG’s  first report, can be read here. The report outlines five key themes in philanthropy today, which the APPG will explore in depth over the next five years. These are:

  • Leadership and governance
  • Representation
  • Public policy and press
  • Technology
  • New forms of giving

The officers in Westminster for the APPG are:

Cause-related networks provide a platform where philanthropists can share knowledge around specific themes. They can also facilitate collaboration, identify priorities or gaps in funding, and work towards broader and deeper coordination among givers. Yet, currently, few of these networks exist in the UK.

In this project, New Philanthropy Capital is collating the experience of the leading cause-focused forums in the UK and internationaly in order to codify current best practice.

The findings from this research will include recommendations that others can use to develop a cause-focused network in their funding area, considering costs, resources, activities, outreach and administration. The aim is to provide a route map that can bring together entry-level philanthropists as well as experienced funders and enable them to learn from each other and achieve scale and impact in their giving.

This research is supported by a working group of experts which includes:

Philanthropy has a major role to play in the arts and culture sector, creating space for this new thinking to develop, driving practical change and achieving sustainability. It is estimated that around 15% of wealthy individuals are interested in arts and culture.

However, only a small number are actively engaged as donors, and yet, there is a growing interest in the impact that the arts can have in non-traditional ways, including health, education, wellbeing and the community.

The New Philanthropy for Arts and Culture is being established as a new network for philanthropists who have a passion for the arts. The network wants to bring together new and established donors to learn from each other and find ways to fund the rich diversity of arts and culture in our communities.

This project is being developed alongside the Cause-related Networks project led by New Philanthropy Capital as a practical example for how to establish a new cause-related network.

Professional advisers are typically the first port of call for wealthy individuals as they accumulate and decumulate wealth through their lives. Yet, of the 16,000 advisory firms currently operating in the UK, only one in five offers any form of philanthropy advice to their clients (22%). Moreover, the satisfaction score clients give to their advisers for the philanthropy advice they receive is just 5.9 out of 10.

Philanthropy Impact  is currently building upon a successful pilot to scale up the training offered to professional advisers. The aim of this training is to equip advisers with the knowledge and the confidence they need to make philanthropy and social investment part of the normal discourse on wealth.

The training has been developed with input from an expert working group, who will also contribute to the ongoing continuous development and improvement of the curriculum and course materials to keep advisers at the forefront of philanthropy and social investment advice. These members include:

Led by Philanthropy Impact and supported by an independent consultant, an industry-wide consultation is being undertaken to determine appropriate standards for the philanthropy and social investment advice offered by professional advisers. Professional standards will not only raise the quality of advice given to donors; it will also help to raise the quality of funding provided to individual charities.

This project will draft the standards and curriculum for training professional advisers to deliver effective advice on philanthropy and social impact. It will also consider how a voluntary accreditation process could be implemented to raise the bar among all professional advisers giving advice on philanthropy and social investment.

The independent consultant consortium consists of expert practitioners and academics including: