The political sphere normally lays claim to a monopoly on momentum, with the oft-quoted line: ‘a week is a long time in politics’. But the last 7 days have seen a huge amount of activity and new developments for philanthropy in the UK.
Firstly the 2015 Beacon awards were announced – including an extremely well deserved celebration of Trevor Pears, whose family foundation has generously supported our newest colleague, Pears Philanthropy Fellow Dr Triona Fitton.
Secondly, the annual Giving List, published as part of the annual Sunday Times Rich List in association with CAF, reported that the richest members of our society collectively gave away £2.6 billion last year, an 8% increase on the previous year, and including four people who gave away 9-figure sums (£100 million or more). Whilst the top spot on the main Rich List is now held by Len Blavatnik, who made one of the UK’s biggest-ever donations in 2010 (£75m to Oxford University), another generous donor, Richard Ross, has ‘donated himself off the Rich List’ by giving so much away.
Thirdly, a new academic centre has been launched at the LSE, which will help to advance the nascent field of philanthropic studies. All of us at Kent welcome the creation of The Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship and congratulate the founders and donors, Paul Marshall and Sir Tom Hughes Hallett, who discuss the thinking behind their exciting initiative in this article.
Here’s hoping the next 7 days are full of even more positive news for UK philanthropy.