How to set up a charity proposition

Elliot Smith speaks to two advice firms who have gone beyond raising money for charity and are looking to make philanthropy a part of the business

An increasing number of advice firms are working to give something back to their communities in the form of philanthropic pursuits.

Over the past few years, IFAs have taken on marathons, 300-mile cycles, boxing matches, foliage clearing days at butterfly sanctuaries and more in the name of charity.

But some firms are taking this one step further, establishing ongoing divisions dedicated solely to philanthropy and engaging both staff and clients in the process.

This ranges from establishing ongoing partnerships that enable clients to make regular contributions to philanthropic causes through their adviser, to delivering financial education in local schools on an ongoing basis.

New Model Adviser® reporter Elliot Smith spoke to two advice firms going above and beyond to help those less fortunate than themselves.

An increasing number of advice firms are working to give something back to their communities in the form of philanthropic pursuits.

Over the past few years, IFAs have taken on marathons, 300-mile cycles, boxing matches, foliage clearing days at butterfly sanctuaries and more in the name of charity.

But some firms are taking this one step further, establishing ongoing divisions dedicated solely to philanthropy and engaging both staff and clients in the process.

This ranges from establishing ongoing partnerships that enable clients to make regular contributions to philanthropic causes through their adviser, to delivering financial education in local schools on an ongoing basis.

New Model Adviser® reporter Elliot Smith spoke to two advice firms going above and beyond to help those less fortunate than themselves.

James Roberts

Managing partner at Partners Wealth Management

As our average client size is getting larger, clients are looking at in-life gifting and legacy gifting. We want to be able to facilitate that through the family office so advisers can do anything a client wants them to do.

We have started working with private banking company C. Hoare & Co, which has a philanthropic family trust. Our clients can make contributions into that. It is completely regulated. Clients can make disposals as they wish to through that.

Philanthropy is really of the moment. Clients are asking about this more and more and I think the awareness of gifting, endowments and legacy is increasing in the UK. The US has probably led the way in terms of being philanthropic and we are just becoming much more aware of what we can do as a society.

Get everyone on board

In terms of charity work, the first thing is to engage the staff, because they are the people who are communicating with clients about it. The most important thing is to find a cause that is not imposed from the top but is universally adopted. We held hustings events with four different charities before coming up with something that engaged everybody.

We then found the response from clients when we had a launch event for the philanthropic partnership was fantastic, so we engaged clients right from the outset. Not everybody necessarily came to the event but everybody got to hear about it. The feedback and encouragement was phenomenal.

The third aspect is to run events that employees want to get on board with, events that are fun and challenging enough that clients will want to support those employees in. That has been the chain of success so far.

In future we will look to a second sort of charity, the sort the staff can engage more in. I am looking at something employees can get involved with volunteering in – maybe financial education or something requiring action and engagement, rather than just fundraising.

Read more about Partners in our Star Profile.

John Spiers

Chief executive at EQ Investors

@johndspiers

At EQ we recognise our broader obligations to people who have been less fortunate than ourselves and take an active interest in our community. We are proud to be one of the first UK companies to be awarded B Corporation status, an internationally recognised standard for companies that believe in business as a force for good.

We operate a Matched Giving programme to help our clients and staff raise extra funds for their favourite causes and we have set up the EQ Foundation as a registered grant-making registered charity.

Worthy causes

The EQ Foundation makes a small number of multi-year grants to institutions focused on achieving positive outcomes. We are particularly interested in programmes in the UK that improve social mobility and encourage early intervention.

Examples of grants include the Resurgo Spear Programme, an intensive six-week course that helps young adults from disadvantaged backgrounds gain employment. In addition to providing financial support, EQ has been delighted to employ a number of Spear graduates, with a positive impact on our business and staff morale.

The Access Project arranges additional tutoring for potentially high-achieving children from disadvantaged backgrounds with the goal of them obtaining places at leading universities. We continued our support at the Oasis Academy in Enfield and commenced support for a new programme at the Kensington Aldridge Academy.

It is located adjacent to Grenfell Tower block and suffered a double blow from the school having to be relocated for the 2017/18 academic year to a rapidly constructed temporary school, as well as the traumatic impact on most of the pupils from loss of friends and family in the tower block fire. Despite these setbacks it was rated ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted in 2018.

Deeper support

‘Giving is Great’ is an initiative launched by the EQ Foundation. It is looking to transform the way we give. It aims to enable donors to make positive choices about which charities to support based on evidence of impact, and to reduce the cost of raising funds for organisations that can demonstrate above-average impact.

While we plan to continue with our grants programme, we believe there is now a growing opportunity for the EQ Foundation to support organisations by making impact investments that have the potential to generate a financial return as well as doing good.

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