Giving voice to philanthropy



At the Beacon Collaborative, we wanted to understand if our history as an awards programme was the optimum way to promote more and better philanthropy and reach our goal of £2 billion more a year in philanthropic giving. This investigation explored the best way to give voice to philanthropy and includes some fascinating insights on how we can better understand, celebrate and promote the positive impact of philanthropy in the UK.

We found that:

  • Awards do not achieve the need for educating and communicating the value, impact and potential of philanthropy
  • The true value of philanthropy is as an outcome of strategic partnerships and collaboration.

Therefore, promoting philanthropy would be most effective if:

  • Projects are recognised for the joined-up efforts of all stakeholders
  • Outcomes of successful projects and the transformation they bring about are celebrated
  • Understanding how those results were achieved by collaboration is publicised

And growing philanthropy needs:

  • An opportunity to learn directly from the experience of others
  • Education and training of all involved
  • network of influencers to communicate the impact of philanthropy on communities today and its potential for the future.

We have already started to put these recommendations into actions: see our stories page. And will be making the celebration of the positive outcomes of philanthropy one of the mainstays of our work in the coming years.

“Talk of philanthropists inevitably defaults to one dimension – numbers of zeros, the size of gift, rather than what philanthropic partnerships achieve. With this report, we hand their voice back to philanthropists; describing what motivates them, what they feel about what they do – most particularly, what they think remains to be achieved, the tools they need and the road map to arrive there. Philanthropists come from across our communities and in today’s world are from backgrounds as varied as the beneficiaries they serve. Their heritage, connections and experience are as important to the success of the projects they support as the financial investment they make in them. The recommendations we make are intended to outline the platform philanthropists and their community partners say they need for success.”

Andrew Watt, Third Sector Strategy