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February 10, 2012

Leader: Launching the 1 Per Cent Campaign

By Spear's

In this issue, we launch our 1 Per Cent Campaign to raise awareness of how our readers, among the most fortunate of people, can get involved in philanthropy and to encourage you to do so

IN THIS ISSUE, we launch our 1 Per Cent Campaign to raise awareness of how our readers, among the most fortunate of people, can get involved in philanthropy — and to encourage you to do so. We stress that more than just money, you can give your time and expertise, and also that it is not a pain to give, but a pleasure. As Dame Stephanie Shirley, former national ambassador for philanthropy, says, ‘Such generosity gives its return in personal wellbeing.’

We will be profiling a range of good causes — charities, schools, institutions — which you can contribute to. Venture philanthropy organisation Impetus, for example, needs pro bono expertise for its portfolio charities, while with the Durand Academy you could sponsor a child from a deprived part of London through his or her school career and make sure their talents do not go to waste. These charities offer you creative and sustainable ways in which to become involved.

We are also working with a range of professional firms, such as our legal partner, Withers, to provide resources for would-be philanthropists. In the next issue, Clive Cutbill of Withers will be answering your questions (for free) on everything from starting a foundation to the tax implications of giving, and in our June issue we will publish a detailed how-to guide to philanthropy written by Withers. If your firm would like to be one of our partners, contact the editor, Josh Spero (

One doesn’t have to look far to come across statistics that indicate social problems needing urgent attention. Daniela Barone Soares, CEO of Impetus, reminds us that half a million children currently live in chaotic and high-risk families in the UK. It is estimated that 70 per cent of these children will still be classed as ‘at risk’ when they reach 30, unless intervention breaks the self-reinforcing cycle of poverty. Our swollen prisons house a staggering number of recidivists. Around a fifth of the population live in poverty. Charities are working hard to address these complicated problems — but they are being held back by government spending cuts that damage their effectiveness.

One-off donations are undoubtedly a valid and important way of giving and charities could not survive without them. We do not frown upon the writing of cheques for social good, but, looking to the long term, we believe that there are much more effective and powerful ways of engaging in philanthropy — both for the benefactor and beneficiary. Money always helps, but we are excited to offer you other ways in which you can give.

We introduce a diverse range of charities in this issue. Already mentioned are Impetus and the remarkable Durand Academy, whose director Greg Martin we talk to in this issue; he is turning a state primary school into a self-financing educational powerhouse, and building a secondary boarding school on the proceeds. The Big Issue Foundation is asking firms to allow a Big Issue vendor to sell the magazine in your office’s canteen or reception to help them reintegrate into society and rebuild their life after suffering great personal crises. Or you can subsidise the membership of an aspiring writer at the London Library.

In a time of austerity, philanthropy is more necessary than ever to help address the problems that beset society: poverty, crime, lack of a good education, lack of career opportunities, homelessness. If you as Spear’s readers harness your entrepreneurial ability, knowledge and abundant resources, you can contribute in a meaningful and (importantly) rewarding way. Culture minister Ed Vaizey agrees, saying the government can encourage philanthropy as much as it likes, ‘but this would of course be fruitless without the generosity of individuals who are prepared to support causes that they feel passionately about’. We are grateful for his and Dame Stephanie’s support — and we hope we have yours, too.
Email to find out more about the campaign

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