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  1. Wealth
December 13, 2010

NPC: Families fear giving without measures

By Spear's

Not being able to see how their donations are being used is the greatest concern of philanthropic families, says a survey from New Philanthropy Capital and Global Partnership Family Offices

Not being able to see how their donations are being used is the greatest concern of philanthropic families, says a survey from New Philanthropy Capital and Global Partnership Family Offices. The survey (available here), which drew on results from 44 single- and multi-family offices, found that how to monitor charities’ performance was the advice families most desired, followed by educating the next generation and setting up a giving vehicle.

Nearly 60% of respondents wanted more advice, and almost two-thirds had never been formally instructed in best practices for philanthropy. Even once families had given, they were worried about “being actively pursued by charities” and being exposed to public scrutiny.

Plum Lomax of New Philanthropy Capital said: ‘[Families] care about results and they need help looking for them. They’re not getting that help at the moment. There’s a lot of talk in the private client industry about how they need to help their clients. What’s being offered at the moment is great advice on tax and trust and offshore jurisdictions, but little once you’ve given on whether those projects are achieving their social objectives.’

Lomax said there was a mutually-reinforcing problem, where some banks did not offer the advice and clients did not ask for it: one bank has in the past said, ‘We hope the client skims over it because we don’t know what we’re talking about’, comments Lomax called ‘extraordinary’.

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