Corporate givers should play to their strengths, say top philanthropists

Leading philanthropists gathered in London on Monday as part of the Luxury Law Summit 2016 to share their perspectives on how companies, firms and wealthy individuals can get the most out of giving back.

Weerapat Kiatdumrong

Speakers at the Global Legal Post’s Women, Wealth, Philanthropy discussion in London on Monday implored attendees to follow their passions and play to their strengths when choosing a charitable giving strategy, either as individuals or for their company. Whether it’s time, money, exposure or expertise, organisations should first identify what they have to offer as a giver before targeting their particular skillset or resources towards a worthy cause. The next step, suggested Moonpig founder and philanthropist Nick Jenkins, is to do your homework and make sure that the resource you have to offer is the most helpful for your cause of choice. ‘Complex problems are complex to solve, we need to accept this,’ said Mr Jenkins, encouraging budding philanthropists to think strategically and work for ‘net improvements’ rather than simply writing cheques.

Deeper giving

Other speakers at the event included New Philanthropy Capital’s Plum Lomax, Linley creative director Carmel Allen, Victoria Christian of Clive Christian Perfumes and Her Royal Highness Princess Tessy de Luxembourg. With presentations ranging from personal inspirations to practical how-to advice, flowing through the conversation was a general consensus that philanthropists, be they businesses or wealthy individuals, should know their beneficiaries inside-out in order to achieve the best philanthropic outcomes. Understanding the complexities of your chosen cause, assessing the strategy of your chosen beneficiary organisation and finding tangible ways to measure ‘successes’ in driving positive change are key to making sure that resources dedicated to philanthropic work deliver the best possible outcomes. However, starting out by choosing a cause that aligns with the ethics, passions and worldview of you or your organisation is equally important for building a satisfying giving strategy. ‘Choose something that makes you angry,’ joked several speakers.

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