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1. How would you define a philanthropist in three words?

Largely positive, ‘Generous’ seems to be most common, also ‘Kind’, ‘Caring’ and ‘Good’. Lots of references to financial status e.g. Rich, Wealthy, Money Some negative – Phony, Liar, Self-obsessed, Egotist, Greedy, Suspicious, Suspicious, Hubris Significant minority don’t know

2. Have you donated money to charity in the last 12 months?

  • Yes – 89%
  • No – 11%

3. To what extent do you agree or disagree with these statements?

Strongly agree Agree Neither agree nor disagree Disagree Strongly disagree
I usually only give money to charity after being asked by a friend, family member, colleague or professional fundraiser 5% (53) 16% (173) 18% (193) 35% (384) 26% (279)
I talk to my family and friends about the charities that I support 10% (106) 26% (287) 28% (301) 24% (260) 12% (129)
There is a general expectation in society to donate money to charity 15% (180) 57% (690) 19% (226) 8% (99) 1% (12)
Donations help make things better for other people/society 27% (333) 57% (691) 11% (132) 3% (35) 2% (19)
I trust donors to do what is right with their donations 9% (105) 37% (436) 41% (488) 11% (126) 3% (31)
I think the government should give tax incentives to people who give money to charity 10% (119) 35% (414) 33% (386) 17% (201) 5% (64)
Philanthropists are good for society 23% (274) 49% (584) 23% (277) 3% (34) 1% (13)
I think people are deterred from giving more money to charity because of negative public perceptions of philanthropists 3% (30) 15% (171) 52% (609) 25% (292) 6% (72)

4. To what extent, if at all, are you aware of the tax incentives (such as Gift Aid) that government offers to those who give to charity?

  • Great deal – 21% (259)
  • Quite a lot – 28% (336)
  • Some – 33% (402)
  • Not very much – 11% (128)
  • Nothing at all – 7% (83)

5. How much, if at all, would you say you know about what a Donor Advised Fund is?

  • A great deal – 0.5% (6)
  • A fair amount – 2% (25)
  • Just a little – 9% (105)
  • Heard of, know nothing about – 16% (196)
  • Never heard of – 73% (878)

6. If you were to donate money, would you consider using a Donor Advised Fund?

  • Yes – 32% (393)
  • No – 22% (273)
  • Don’t know – 45% (549)

Some early correlations analysis on who would consider using a DAF: NB: further analysis needed to check all above findings are statistically significant.

Tax knowledge: All those who claim to know a great deal about DAFs, unsurprisingly, also claim to know a great deal about general tax incentives. However, a significant number (174 respondents, 14%) who claim know ‘a little’ or less about general tax breaks, say they would consider using a DAF.

Donor status: Of those who would not consider using a DAF, 12% are non-donors anyway.

Gender: Women are slightly more likely to consider using a DAF (56% of those answering Y to Q.6 are female)

Age: There is interest/disinterest in DAFs across all age groups, very similar across 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s, slightly less interest amongst 70+ and 18-29 year olds.

Income: Twice as much interest in using a DAF amongst the highest income group, but interest across all income groups.

Additional variables available for analysis in relation to any of our questions:

  • Region
  • Urban vs Rural
  • Disability
  • Class (Middle, Working, Other)
  • Education
  • Relationship status
  • Size of household
  • Children living at home or not
  • Home ownership (owns, private rental, LA rental)
  • Employment status (employed, unemployed, retired)
  • Subjective income status (Comfortable, doing alright, getting by, finding it difficult/quite difficult)
  • Political party identification (Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem, Other)
  • Ethnic identity
  • Internet use (Several times daily, Daily, Weekly or less)


The conference is being held at the Francis Crick Institute and will begin with a keynote session by one of Prism’s clients and successful hedge fund owner and philanthropist, Stuart Roden.

The keynote will be followed by a panel discussion on how to assess the impact and output of a donor’s philanthropy. Plum Lomax (New Philanthropy Capital), Rebecca Eastmond (Co-Founder & CEO of Greenwood Place) and Elisabeth Paulson (Impetus) will all take part in this session chaired by James Libson (Executive Partner of Mishcon de Reya & Head of Mishcon Private and Chair of Prism the Gift Fund).

The audience will then be taken on a journey from the inception of making a philanthropic donation. BDO will begin the session, followed by Mishcon de Reya with a look at purposeful business, and Lombard Odier will close with sustainable philanthropic capital investment. Dr. Christopher Kaminker (Head of Sustainable Investment for Lombard Odier), Alexander Rhodes (Managing Associate Mishcon Private) and Helen Jones (Partner within the London Tax Group at BDO) will all be participating in this session. 

The final session will be a panel discussion with a mixture of operational experts and donors in the philanthropy space. They will bring their years of experience and expertise, each talking in a personal capacity.


The format of the day

4.00-4.15pm Registration
4.15-4.30pm Stuart Roden opening
4.30-5.20pm How to assess impact and output
5.25-6.15pm Journey of Philanthropy
6.25-7.15pm The Power of Philanthropy
7.15-8.00pm Networking & drinks reception

The Francis Crick Institute - Midland Rd, London NW1 1AT 


Ajaz Ahmed

CEO, AKQA and Prism the Gift Fund Trustee

Ajaz Ahmed serves as a trustee on the charitable boards of Virgin Unite, Elton John Aids Foundation, Mental Health Innovations (The Royal Foundation) and Prism the Gift Fund. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and an Enterprise Fellow for the Prince’s Trust.

In June 2018 Ajaz was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for Services to Media. Ajaz founded the design and communications company AKQA when he was 21 years old and today the company has 2,200 employees across 28 studios in 19 countries.

Ajaz is the author of three books Velocity, Limitless and Defeat. All proceeds are donated to five charities voted for by employees of AKQA (Brainwave, Feed the Children, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Doctors without Borders, and Pencils of Promise). Ajaz was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Bath in December 2018. Ajaz’s essays, publications and thoughts are available here:


Alexander Rhodes

Managing Associate, Mischon Private

Alexander is a trusted adviser to international clients. He acts for individuals and families in relation to their personal, business and philanthropic interests. He also has significant business, not-for-profit and international relations experience, including work as the founding CEO of the charity Stop Ivory; head of the Secretariat  to the inter-governmental Elephant Protection Initiative; and as trustee and co-chair of the Strategic Projects Committee of Tusk Trust.


As a trustee and adviser, Alexander has a particular interest in the increasingly important role of philanthropy in society.  The focus of his work is to enable individuals and families to ensure they achieve the very greatest impact with their giving, encompassing legal, governance, policy and political aspects.  Alexander is currently working with principals, other lawyers and non-lawyer advisers to review how philanthropy can be done more effectively, both within the UK and internationally.


Dr. Christopher Kaminke

Head of Sustainable Investment Research & Strategy at Lombard Odier

Dr. Christopher Kaminker is Head of Sustainable Investment Research & Strategy at Lombard Odier. He leads a team responsible for cross-asset sustainable investment research, strategy, economic analysis, data science and product development. He also oversees Lombard Odier Investment Manager’s active ownership and stewardship efforts.

Prior to Lombard Odier, he worked at SEB, a Nordic financial banking group, where he was head of sustainable finance research and a senior advisor in the merchant banking division. During his time in investment banking at SEB, Goldman Sachs and Société Générale, he advised on and structured over USD $20billion of sustainability financing capital markets solutions for investors, corporates and sovereigns. Dr. Kaminker also spent 7 years as the lead economist and policy advisor for sustainable finance at the OECD. He represented the OECD as delegate to the G20 and Financial Stability Board and SEB on the Executive Committee of the Green Bond Principles. He is an author of over 30 peer-reviewed publications on sustainable finance and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. He received his doctorate from Oxford University, post-doc at Stanford University, and masters from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.



Elisabeth Paulson

Portfolio Director, Impetus

Elisabeth is the Portfolio Director and member of the senior management team at Impetus, an organisation that finds, funds and builds the most promising charities focused on closing the gaps in education and employment. Elisabeth drives the charity’s investment strategy and is responsible for the overall management and performance of the charity’s partnership portfolio.


Helen Jones

Partner, BDO

Helen is a partner in the Private Client Team at BDO LLP. With over 20 years experience in both Personal and Corporate UK Tax. Helen’s focus is dealing with wealthy individuals, entrepreneurs and their businesses. Helen believes that building relationships with her clients, as well as understanding their financial interests and long term objectives, is essential when advising the immediate family, related trusts, companies and partnerships. She combines her commercial experience and technical knowledge to offer creative and practical advice to clients. Helen is a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.


James Lisbon

Executive Partner, Mishcon de Reya

James is the Executive Partner of Mishcon de Reya and Head of Mishcon Private. 

He is a litigator who acts mainly for individuals and families in global commercial disputes, and employment and reputation matters.  He has been involved in a number of the highest profile cases of the last 20 years, including acting for Deborah Lipstadt in her defence of the claim brought against her by the holocaust denier, David Irving (which was made into a film, Denial); for Gina Miller in both her recent Supreme Court challenges relating to Article 50 and, this year, prorogation; for the Jewish Labour Movement in its referral of the Labour Party to the EHRC; and for several other politicians of all hues over the last 15 years or so. 

He received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Law in 2018. 

He has the privilege of currently chairing Prism and has sat as a trustee and chaired several charities, including World Jewish Relief between 2011 and 2016, the UK Jewish community’s leading international development charity.


Matthew Bowcock CBE

Founder and Chair, Beacon Collaborative

Matthew Bowcock is a founder and Chair of the Beacon Collaborative, a collective impact campaign to change the levels of private assets used for public good in the UK. He was previously Chairman of UK Community Foundations, a member of the Philanthropy Review Board, a National Council Member of the Arts Council of England and a trustee of The Philanthropy Workshop, Philanthropy Impact and the Watts Gallery. In 2012 he authored a report for the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport called “Digital Giving in the Arts – Democratising Philanthropy.”  Through the Hazelhurst Trust he has focused his own philanthropy on community projects, social impact of the arts and developing more and better philanthropy.

His background is as a technology entrepreneur and he has established several businesses in Australia, the US and the UK.


Nicola Brentnall MVO

Chief Executive, The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust

Nicola Brentnall is Chief Executive of The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust and has been with the organization from inception. She has been responsible for the development of QCT’s proposition, governance, values, brand and fundraising.

Nicola has over twenty years’ senior leadership experience in the voluntary sector, working across youth, the arts and mental health. She has seen the extraordinary talent, tenacity and generosity of young people throughout her career and it is their example that has inspired all that is The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust today.

Nicola has no doubt the vision of the Trust, a world where young people are equal partners in driving change, is achievable. Why? Because in the words of David Hogg, activist and Parkland survivor, the young people will win.


Penny Lovell

CEO Private Wealth, Sanlam

Penny joined Sanlam in 2017 and is CEO of the Private Wealth business. She has over 30 years advising charities, trusts, private clients and families. Previously Penny was Managing Director at Rothschild and Fleming Family and Partners. Before Joining Sanlam, Penny was Head of Private Client, Marketing and Distribution at Close Brothers Asset Management. At Close she established the Trustee Leadership Programme and was responsible for their broader service to charities and philanthropists. Penny holds the Diploma in French Civilisation from La Sorbonne. She graduated from Manchester University with a BA Honours in English and Italian and trained in financial planning and investment management. She is PCIAM qualified and is a trustee of Prism the Gift Fund, Pennies, the Digital Charity Box and sits on the PIMFA board. She sits on the Advisory Boards for various Arts and Music charities.


Plum Lomax

Principal: Impact Investing, NPC

Plum has over sixteen years of experience in supporting funders and social investors. Her effective philanthropy work includes helping individuals and families as they start out or expand their giving, supporting corporate foundations to evaluate and communicate their impact, and researching issues and analysing charities for clients focused on specific causes. Plum leads NPC’s work around impact investing, and is retained by a number of funds both in the UK and US as their impact or evaluation partner. NPC’s impact investing work includes supporting the field develop impact standards, and helping investors by conducting due diligence on deals, creating impact frameworks and assessing the impact of investment portfolios as well as supporting early stage enterprises with impact measurement. She has co-authored a number of NPC’s flagship publications on social investment, including Investing for impact and In pursuit of deep impact and market-rate returns.

Before joining NPC in 2003, Plum was Head of European Equity Strategy at Merrill Lynch. She is currently a trustee of the Shackleton Foundation, which supports early-stage social entrepreneurs with innovative ideas making a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.



Rebecca Eastmond

CEO and Co-Founder, Greenwood Place

Rebecca Eastmond is CEO and Co-Founder of Greenwood Place, which provides strategic advice and execution for a community of entrepreneurial philanthropists.  Prior to founding Greenwood Place in 2017, Rebecca led JP Morgan’s Philanthropy Advisory offering in EMEA for almost a decade. She began her career as a charity lawyer at Allen & Overy, before moving sector to become the Founder CEO of The Prince’s Foundation for Arts & Kids.   She serves as Trustee of Peek Vision, Acumen Academy UK, two grant-making foundations and is a member of Acumen’s global advisory board.


Stuart Roden

Until January 2019 Stuart was Chairman of Lansdowne Partners and Chairman of the Management Committee having previously co-managed the Developed Markets funds since their inception in 2001.

Stuart is non-Executive Chairman of Hetz Ventures, and non-Executive Chairman of Tresidor Investment Management.

He is Chairman of Unlocking Potential, a trustee of The National Gallery and trustee of various third sector organisations including The Centre for Social Justice, Jewish Care and The Rabbi Sacks Foundation.

He is also the non-executive Chairman of the Investment Committee of Marylebone Partners LLP and Chairman of the Jewish Care and Oxford Centre for Jewish and Hebrew Studies Investment Committees.

Stuart started his career in the City in 1984, joining SG Warburg & Co, he worked at McKinsey and prior to joining Lansdowne in 2001, was a Managing Director of Merrill Lynch Investment Managers.

Stuart received a first-class honours degree in Economics (BSc) from the London School of Economics, he is married with four children and lives in London.




Alongside the conference Prism is excited to announce that we will be releasing a Thought Leadership paper exploring some of the most pressing topics within philanthropy. The Thought Leadership paper will be written by industry expert Dr Beth Breeze, and will pull together findings from a survey commissioned by Prism and carried out by NatCen, one of the leading social research groups in the country.