Completed Projects

In 2019, we completed quantitative research among 1,300 wealthy individuals across the UK to understand how to overcome the barriers to giving. The research used advanced segmentation techniques to identify what wealthy donors want in their relationships with charitable organisations. The full report and all the data can be can be accessed here.


The Beacon Awards were established as a platform to celebrate successful acts of philanthropy around the UK. In 2019, we revisited this approach by examining the role that recognition and celebration play in incentivising donors to make charitable investments and in informing the public of the value of those investments. The full report can be accessed here.

Many philanthropists strive to be more strategic and effective in how they address social problems. In 2019, we undertook research with New Philanthropy Capital to identify how cause-related networks for philanthropists can offer a way forward, by bringing people together around a shared understanding of a cause and enabling them to share knowledge and resources through the power of inclusive networks. The full report can be accessed here.


Current Projects

Developing connections between elected politicians, government departments, philanthropists, social investors and experts will increase understanding of the role of philanthropy, giving and social investment in our civil society. Working cross-sector, with  Philanthropy Impact acting as secretariat, an APPG on Philanthropy & Social Investment was launched in 2019 chaired by Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow. The APPG’s  first report outlines five key themes in philanthropy today – Leadership and Governance, Representation, Public Policy and Press, Technology, New Forms of Giving. The full report can be accessed here. 

Following an industry-wide consultation to determine appropriate standards and curriculum for the philanthropy and social investment advice offered by professional advisers, Philanthropy Impact is rolling out training and accreditation for the different professions across the UK. More information can be accessed here.

New Philanthropy for Arts and Culture is a new network for philanthropists who have a passion for the arts. The network brings together new and established donors to learn from each other and find ways to fund the rich diversity of arts and culture in our communities.

Building on the quantitative research completed in 2019, this analysis provides deeper understanding of what constitutes generosity among wealthy people. It also considers how these norms vary among different groups of givers considering regional variations, ethnic groups, wealth bands and involvement with different causes.  Findings from this in-depth research are available in blog posts that can be found here.

The convergence of two powerful forces is creating an opportunity for the UK to step forward as a centre of excellence for global philanthropy and social investment. Covid-19 has highlighted the need for a global response to tail-risk threats, including a global philanthropic response. Meanwhile, Brexit planning raises a unique opportunity to position the UK as a global centre for international philanthropy and social investment. This report will provide an initial examination the UK’s current strengths and weaknesses as a home for global philanthropy and for the expansion of social investment.

Social values are a driving force for the upcoming generation of wealth creators and wealth holders. Many are already active philanthropists and this research will consider what they need to support and enable their giving and social investment now and into the future.


Future Projects

Philanthropists often act in isolation and other wealthy individuals may not engage in philanthropy for a variety of reasons:  fear of bad publicity, fear of doing the “wrong” thing, mistrust of the third sector, etc.  To encourage wealth people to do more and better philanthropy Beacon has collected opinions from philanthropists which support the desire of wealthy people to have a membership group that is a fellowship of philanthropists.  The fellowship groups communicate in safe spaces, virtual and face to face, free of journalists and fundraisers, where they can discuss ideas, fears, best practices and strategies.

Many of Britain’s deprived cities and towns are developing ambitious plans for their future, led by civil society organisations. Beacon is proposing to establish Diaspora Funds in three trial cities, to harness the resources of successful individuals that have left their place of origin but who still feel a close association and loyalty to their home town. As well as grant funding and social investment, “alumni” can bring contacts, skills and expertise to catalyse new initiatives. A two year trial project is planned to create a structured and trusted way for alumni to donate to and invest in their hometown, so that they can have a substantial impact on the residents and the economy. A blueprint will be developed so that others towns or cities can also to create their own diaspora funds.

Find out more about how they all fit together in our workplan