what is philanthropy

Philanthropy has…

…alleviated poverty, fostered art and culture, strengthened communities and improved our environment.

When most effective, the philanthropist brings skills, experience and networks as well as money.

This is the oxygen that nurtures the sort of society we want to live in and planet we want to live on.

We are an alliance of partners across the philanthropy sector with a collective goal to increase philanthropy in the UK through research, advocacy and strategic communications.

Our interviews with philanthropists.

One of our favourite things to do at Beacon is speak to philanthropists who are active in their communities and causes.

Here is a selection of stories about the vital contributions these philanthropists have made with their resources.

stone family foundation

From Business to Philanthropy: John Stone’s charitable giving. 

Investing in philanthropy is a lot like investing in business, says John Stone. Except you’re seeking a social return, not a financial one. We sat down with John to discuss his charitable activity through the Stone Family Foundation, and why taking a business approach can be so effective.

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Alastair Stewart | Connectivity, competence and philanthropy.

Alastair Stewart is one of the nation’s most recognisable prime time faces. From wars to elections, millions have watched him break news headlines across the decades. Lesser known, though, is Alastair’s engagement in charity. We sat down with the journalist to learn about his philanthropy.

ewan kirk

Ewan Kirk – Why donors should give charities ‘permission to fail’

Ewan Kirk is a technology entrepreneur and co-founder of the Turner Kirk Trust. His philanthropic pursuits focus on unlocking the potential of charities through catalysing innovation. Ewan believes that making a charity more effective and efficient will amplify the impact of all its future donations. He discusses his approach to giving.

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Sylvia Brown | Why I’m passionate about donor education

Sylvia Brown comes from a family with a 300 year history of philanthropy. But recently, she has seen relatives engage in unstrategic ‘cocktail party’ giving. Noticing that there was no educational resource to help individual donors give more strategically, she decided to create one herself. We find out more.

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Honouring a loved one through philanthropy; the Paul Cornes Fund

In 2020, Tom Flood set up The Paul Cornes Fund, to honour the memory of his late partner. Its aim? To use Paul’s money to support those in need in Dorset. In this interview, we speak to Tom about what inspired the Fund’s establishment, and how setting it up has helped him stay connected to the community and to Paul.

gay huey evans

More than just money; a holistic approach to giving.

“Giving money is great, but it is not the only way to help.” In this interview, we speak to London Metal Exchange chair Gay Huey Evans to learn about how effective philanthropy sometimes involves drawing on your skills as well as your financial resources to help a charity thrive.

What are the UK’s current giving levels?

Below are the median average giving levels for wealthy people per year.

£2.5 bn

The top 1% of wealth holders give away £2.5 billion annually.

1-2%

People with more than £10m in assets give 1-2% of their wealth away annually.

20%

20% of millionaires based in Britain give more than 1% of their wealth away annually.

£4000

Half of UK millionaires give more than £4000 away annually.

Latest news, blogs and stories…

3 Reasons to Invest Philanthropically in Mental Health

“Sound mental health is the foundation of everything that’s needed to thrive,” begins Holly Elliott. And yet, 300 million people worldwide are experiencing depression alone. Drawing on examples from her work at mental health charity StrongMinds, Holly makes donors aware of three key ways they can help to fight back for strong mental health.

Where are the women in philanthropy?

The 2022 Sunday Times Giving List, which features the top 100 givers of the year, has just three overt mentions of funding ‘women.’ This set alarm bells ringing for Lucy Hart, given how consistently women’s issues are discussed. In this article, she asks how funding can be expanded.

High-net-worth giving continues upward trend to June 2022

Since early 2020, Beacon has been conducting surveying of 300 – 500 UK millionaires. Our recent research shows that, though giving among the general population has declined, high-net-worth giving has increase. Cath Dovey takes an in-depth look at the data and what it means for UK philanthropy.

Cath Dovey

Social equity in philanthropy – management or measurement?

Should funders of all sizes be measured against the same yardstick? In this article, Cath explores why it is tricky to hold funders of vastly different resource levels to exactly the same standards, but that all funders can make progress by applying a social equity lens to their grantmaking.

Philanthropy Right Now: Stimulating Intergenerational Dialogue

We are in the midst of the largest intergenerational wealth transfer in history. But many family foundations are still run by older generations. In this article, Marie-Louise Gourlay opines that tackling our social problems requires breaking down the intergenerational barrier and embracing younger voices, too.

From Business to Philanthropy: John Stone’s charitable giving. 

Investing in philanthropy is a lot like investing in business, says John Stone. Except you’re seeking a social return, not a financial one. We sat down with John to discuss his charitable activity through the Stone Family Foundation, and why taking a business approach can be so effective.

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