Can UK philanthropists follow suit?

11 July 2011 | By Cause4 staff

Over the past year, we have applauded the efforts of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett in galvanising the American Philanthropic Community with their Giving Pledge. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it is a pledge made by over 50, ultra-wealthy Americans to donate half their fortunes to charity. We have debated at length whether this could take place here in the UK and recent events have made the outlook more positive.

Close to home is news that a campaign championed by The Ireland Funds charitable foundation to raise £63 million from philanthropists with Irish connections is set to reach its target ahead of time. The fund has already reached the £45 million mark and as Keiran McLoughlin, president and CEO of The Worldwide Ireland Funds, points out ‘to be so far ahead of our target at the midpoint of the campaign is very encouraging.’

There has been no better time for Philanthropists in the UK to put their cards on the table, pledge to give and to provide the inspiration spark needed to bring UK giving into the 21st Century.

This news has come at a time when the recent Philanthropy Review has announced news of its ‘Give More Campaign.’ The Campaign aims to make 2012 the year ‘where giving is celebrated, where more people think about what they give and where those who can, pledge to give more.’ It highlights the role of ‘leading Philanthropists, business leaders, media and social media figures,’ in helping to use the ‘power of peer networks and influencers to embed enthusiastic giving champions...who will encourage and inspire others to give.’

Although not only aimed at wealthy individuals The Campaign, we feel, will only succeed if those who can give most lead the way. There has been no better time for Philanthropists in the UK to put their cards on the table, pledge to give and to provide the inspiration spark needed to bring UK giving into the 21st Century. We can only hope that this latest call to action is answered in the same spirit in which it was made. We look forward to late Autumn and the Campaign’s formal launch.


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