How char­it­ies boost spend­ing on good causes - Eleanor Sepanski in the Financial Times - Boodle Hatfield

Your lawyers since 1722

Article
07 Nov 2023

How char­it­ies boost spend­ing on good causes – Eleanor Sepanski in the Financial Times

Written by

Eleanor Sepanski View profile
2 min read

Partner, Eleanor Sepanski pens a letter to the Editor of The Financial Times on the topic of how char­it­able found­a­tions dis­trib­ute their assets and whether they could be doing more.

Eleanor's letter says: Your report (“Wealthy trusts scrimp on char­it­able dona­tions”, Report, Octo­ber 24) on Pro Bono Eco­nom­ics’ research into grant-mak­ing trusts and found­a­tions raises valu­able ques­tions about how char­it­able found­a­tions dis­trib­ute their assets and whether they could be doing more. However, the piece seems to lean towards imple­ment­ing man­dat­ory minimum dis­tri­bu­tion tar­gets in the UK as the answer to unlock­ing greater char­it­able giv­ing. While this may seem an attract­ive solu­tion on the sur­face, there are draw­backs to such a “one-size-fits-all” approach. One way to ensure that found­a­tions’ funds are more effect­ively deployed on good causes is an ongo­ing emphasis on good gov­ernance. Robust grant-mak­ing strategies, under­pinned by invest­ment policies and spe­cific time­frames, will allow a found­a­tion to har­ness its expert­ise and max­im­ise its pub­lic bene­fit, rather than just focus on meet­ing a pre­scribed tar­get. This respons­ib­il­ity should sit with the char­ity trust­ees who should be allowed more credit for, on the whole, tak­ing their respons­ib­il­it­ies very ser­i­ously in these straitened times. Char­ity trust­ees should cer­tainly be chal­len­ging them­selves to do more, but man­dat­ory spend­ing require­ments should not be relied upon as a sil­ver bul­let for more effect­ive char­it­able giv­ing.

Read the full piece in The Financial Times (paywall) here. 

This respons­ib­il­ity should sit with the char­ity trust­ees who should be allowed more credit for, on the whole, tak­ing their respons­ib­il­it­ies very ser­i­ously in these straitened times. Char­ity trust­ees should cer­tainly be chal­len­ging them­selves to do more, but man­dat­ory spend­ing require­ments should not be relied upon as a sil­ver bul­let for more effect­ive char­it­able giv­ing.

Written by