At the 8th Beacon Awards for Philanthropy held on 6th February at Mansion House, London the Beacon Fellowship named 33 of the most prestigious philanthropists in the UK as Beacon Fellows for 2013.
The Awards, sponsored by J.P. Morgan Private Bank and supported by the City of London Corporation’s charity City Bridge Trust and Pears Foundation, celebrate outstanding philanthropic achievement made by individuals, families and small groups of individuals working collaboratively across seven distinct Beacon categories. They highlight key trends in philanthropic giving and pioneering developments including the growing focus for donations of money, along with time, talents and social capital to support future generations and local initiatives in the UK.
Collectively, the 33 Beacon Fellows have donated £100million to philanthropic causes, across a mix of local and global organisations, large institutions and grassroots charities. Causes supported include those with a strong focus on community and social issues, such as poverty and social inequality, as supported by The Volant Charitable Trust founded by J.K. Rowling, who is also commended² as a Special Award Beacon Fellow for sustained contribution to society. In addition, the 2013 Beacon Fellows have helped to reinvent philanthropy for the modern age – establishing new income generation mechanisms, philanthropic models, funding vehicles and giving platforms, with the aim of providing generations to come with a better future.
Tracey Reddings, Head of UK Private Wealth Management at J.P. Morgan Private Bank added: “The philanthropists that have been recognised across a range of categories have made a significant difference to good causes around the world, as well as those close to home. It is encouraging to see the positive impact donations have made in a period when the UK economy and individuals have been hit by recession, as well as the considerable time and effort being put into making a sustainable difference or significant impact towards such charitable projects. We hope that this year’s Beacon Fellows will promote the fulfillment that philanthropy can bring, and inspire others to start their own philanthropic journey to create legacy for generations to come.”
The Beacon Fellows were selected following a stringent judging process by a panel comprising of some of the leading philanthropists, philanthropy practitioners and advisors in the UK, who whittled down a list of initial nominations made in October. The awards celebrate philanthropists who have set the standards of best practice in philanthropy and whose work in this field has made a sustainable difference, a significant impact, or work to inspire future generations.
For the first time this year, an Award for ‘City Philanthropy’ has been introduced, sponsored by the City of London Corporation’s charity, City Bridge Trust. Commenting on the Award, Alderman Roger Gifford, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said: “Centuries of philanthropic practice and understanding of the value of endowed capital have ensured the UK has very well-established and effective charity and tax law – making London a global centre for managing international philanthropic funds. By celebrating and showcasing exceptional examples of social investment and charitable support, we can inspire others and maximise the impact of philanthropic giving.”
Commenting on receiving the Judges’ Special Award, J.K. Rowling OBE and Founder of The Volant Charitable Trust noted: “Being recognised by The Beacon Fellowship means a great deal to me; it validates the work we are doing at The Volant Charitable Trust while recognising the value of giving in a thoughtful and intelligent manner, both of which we strive to do.
“None of us who are privileged in our daily lives and fortunate enough to have more money than we need should require a pat on the back for the act of giving, but we do need help to spread the word that responsible giving can make a difference; to individuals and communities, locally, nationally, and internationally. The Beacon Awards are a great way to convey that message.”