25th April 2018
Thank you to all that came to this panel event, hosted by Prism the Gift Fund and The Power of Nutrition at the Clubhouse in St James’ Square, London, last night.
Tracey Reddings (Julius Baer International Ltd) lead the discussion with the panel consisting of Gideon Lyons (Co-Founder, Prism the Gift Fund), Martin Short (CEO, The Power of Nutrition) and Luke Ding (Investor & Philanthropist).
Tracey Reddings opened the discussion with Luke Ding with why the idea of effective altruism (the use of evidence and reason to do the most amount of good) is important and how nutritional and deworming projects fit the bill in terms of proven evidence and great cost benefit.
Luke’s background in Medical Science and Finance came together when he decided to tackle the nutritional health issues in third world countries. He saw quickly a small investment in medicine upfront in the form of de-worming tablets and the positive affect it had in children’s lives going forward. Children who had been treated in this program were not only healthier but more likely to attend school and be able to work longer hours in their later working life.
When asked for advice for those at the start of their philanthropic journey, Luke commented, “A good way to start is to treat it like Private Equity. We use due diligence & economic principles as we would with any financial decision.” Martin Short added, “It’s important not to discard the principles of business or economics because you’re doing philanthropy.”
Martin talked about the journey of a philanthropist and how one goes from local giving to causes further afield. He does not believe that moral imperative alone is always enough to compel giving to a cause, and encouraged philanthropists to apply their business acumen and rigor to their “investments” in philanthropy. Finally, he talked about his work at The Power of Nutrition and how they are working with High Net Worth Individuals and their advisors to deliver evidence-based, cost-effective and sustainable programs to combat undernutrition, which leads to 45% of all under-5 deaths, and stunting, which affects over 155 million children globally. Through their partnerships with the Department of International Development, The Children’s Investment Fund, World Bank and UNICEF, The Power of Nutrition is able to match all funds raised by a minimum of four times.
Tracey went on to ask Gideon Lyons of Prism The Gift Fund to discuss the ease of setting up a Donor Advised Fund compared to a grant making foundation and the flexibility it offers donors as well as drawing awareness of the variety of options available. Gideon highlighted “With Donor-Advised-Funds [DAFs], you can donate more than just income, including other assets such as art and shares allowing more tax benefits. DAFs allow for more effective giving.”
Gift Aid is often misunderstood and underused. A higher rate UK tax payer giving to a DAF can make, for example, a £800,000 donation and the government would give an additional £200,000 in Gift Aid. Counter that with a £250,000 tax relief – the charity will receive £1,000,000 for a net cost to you of £550,000. That’s tax effective giving.” [You can read more on this here]
Before opening up the discussion for questions from the audience, Tracey asked the panel for their thoughts on cryptocurrency donations, millennials & their giving profile, as we well as the rise of Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs wanting to give back. How will they disrupt or what will they expect from, the Philanthropy space? The panel agreed that Millennials are perhaps more focused on giving back than their previous generation- and cryptocurrencies are something we need to start making more accessible for charities to receive donations. Gideon commented, “There’s potential for cryptocurrency in philanthropic donation – we need to put into place systems to make this easier.”
The Power of Nutrition: http://www.powerofnutrition.org/
Luke Ding / Giving What We Can: https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/person/luke-ding/
Prism the Gift Fund / Mary Smith, Senior Relationship Manager: firstname.lastname@example.org
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