There are many different pathways to giving, and there is no single image of what a philanthropist looks like.

Strategy and decision making are a crucial part of giving. We speak to philanthropists of all types about the highs and lows they faced on their journeys.

If you’d like to contribute a story, please get in touch.

black heart foundation

The ripple effect of philanthropy, with Ric Lewis

For Ric Lewis, education is the holy grail for unlocking potential and setting young people on a path to bigger and better. He believes if one person receives the quality education that they deserve there is a multiplying effect on their family and friends and therefore any support given to one person has a wider and greater effect. By using his philanthropic capital in this way Lewis is ensuring that he reaches as many people as possible.

accelerating technology

Forging new partnerships without fanfare

Giving is a very personal experience which different donors approach in unique ways. For some, anonymity is important, but when reaching out to new organisations this can create interesting and unexpected challenges.

environmental philanthropy

Environmental philanthropy: Maintaining focus through a crisis

The world has 6 months to avert a climate crisis according to Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA are urging governments to put green policies at the heart of the post-pandemic recovery plans: philanthropists have a critical role to play in supporting this.

marcelle speller

Accelerating technology to support grant applications

Marcelle Speller knows the power of technology platforms to aggregate information for buyers and sellers. She formerly founded and since leaving the company in 2005 has been working on her original philanthropic project:, which enables small local charities to raise money.

richard lissack

Launching a national helpline, in just three weeks – Responding to COVID-19

On 8th April 2020, Richard Lissack received a call from a former client, Michaela Willis MBE. Known for her previous leadership of the National Bereavement Partnership (NBP), Michaela had been receiving calls from NHS key workers, asking her to re-ignite the charity and open the national helpline, in the way she had done previously.

the oglesby charitable trust

Resilience for charities and trusts – Responding to COVID-19

The Oglesby Charitable Trust is a family trust primarily active in the North of England. Current trustees are family members of the founders, Jean Oglesby and the late Micheal Oglesby, including his daughter, Kate Vokes, who chairs the trustee board.

john stares

Piloting technology to enable agile collaboration – Responding to COVID-19

John Stares investment in launching the COVID Action Network highlights the role philanthropists can play in supporting innovation – in this case, using technology to enable agile partnership.

Being ready for a rapid response – Responding to COVID-19

Being ready to offer a rapid response takes time and an open mindset. It is precisely because Mark Davies has an established relationship with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust that he was able to pick up the phone and ask what they needed as soon as the COVID-19 crisis hit in the UK.


Community centre becomes volunteer HQ – Responding to COVID-19

What do you do when your group has raised £2.5 million and built a community centre and the world goes into lockdown? The answer from Marjorie and Dine Glasgow is to transform it into a centre for community volunteering.