16 November 2022


In this video, associate Alyssa Haggarty discusses the key trends in philanthropy, where to start when setting up a charitable foundation, and the main issues and challenges for our clients.

Want to find out more? Keep an eye out for our upcoming series of articles and report on effective philanthropy - coming soon!

Video transcript

What is philanthropy? (0:05 – 0:37)

Hi my name is Alyssa Haggerty and I'm part of the philanthropy team at Burges Salmon. Charity and philanthropy are used interchangeably. The main difference is that charity focuses on the immediate need whereas philanthropy is a longer term approach to address the root cause of that need. That's why philanthropy is important to our clients.

For our clients, once they have taken care of their immediate financial needs and their family the question becomes what is my wealth for? The focus turns outwards to legacy and giving back.

What trends are we seeing? (0:38 – 1:04)

It's difficult to generalise trends because the aims of our clients are very individual to them. That said we're seeing increased interest in environmental and Net Zero causes as well as making social investments. These are investments where a charity expects to make a financial return as well as a social return.

Where do people start if they want to establish a charitable foundation? (1:05 – 1:59)

Setting up a charitable foundation can be overwhelming and people often don't know where to start. We help with the process by breaking it down into stages.

The first is initial strategy and structure. We help our clients to decide what their areas of focus will be and whether that could be delivered through direct giving, giving to a donor advised fund or to their own private foundation.

The next question is who will you benefit and this question is answered through research and due diligence. The next phase is implementation that could be making grants, getting involved or building relationships. And throughout this process is ongoing monitoring and evaluation.

Donors and charities need to ask am I creating the impact that I set out to create and if not, what do I need to do differently?

What are the challenges faced by our clients? (2.00 – 2.43)

Another challenge for our clients is handling the volume of requests for support and for this reason some clients decide to give anonymously or to provide alternate contact details for their charities and foundations.

Another challenge is the risk of reputational damage or public scrutiny. We've all seen examples of charities scrutinised by the media for a failure to properly manage conflicts of interest or failure to show good governance.

Our clients value getting help at an early stage with research and due diligence which can help to alleviate some of these concerns.

What motivates our clients? (2.44 – 2.58)

The motivators vary but the common theme is that our clients are trying to make a positive difference and we're passionate about ensuring that they have a positive experience.

Want to talk? Get in touch with Alyssa Haggarty, or our Head of Philanthropy, Catherine de Maid.

Key contact


Catherine de Maid Partner

  • International tax and trusts
  • Head of Philanthropy
  • Succession Planning and Wills

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