31st Jan 2020
To the average person, multi-million-pound gifts may sound like a fairy tale. But the Community Foundation sees philanthropy as something more natural, a 900-year-old habit that is in our DNA. And the key to unlocking this? Lawyers, accountants and wealth managers need to ask their clients ‘have you thought about philanthropy?’
Research by the Charities Aid Foundation shows that 66% of wealthy individuals think their professional advisors should be giving them philanthropic advice. And the benefits are clear when the origins of funds at the Community Foundation are considered. In 2019, the FB and PFB Lough Fund was established at the Community Foundation with a legacy gift from Frank and Pat Lough. They were inspired after speaking to their accountants, Greaves West & Ayre, and solicitors, Sanderson McCreath & Edney, who suggested that a fund at the Community Foundation would be great way for the couple to leave a gift in their will to support charitable activity, in their local area, for generations to come.
Francis Lough (known as Frank) was born in Berwick in 1923, and Patricia Lough (nee Whinton), was born in 1930 in Devon. Frank went to Berwick Grammar School then joined the RAF. On leaving the military he trained as a Chartered Accountant in Berwick and married Pat in 1953. Frank’s career took off and the couple were soon posted to various places around the world, including Milan, Rome, Paris, Madrid and Brussels, before retiring to Berwick and buying a house on Castle Terrace overlooking the River Tweed. Frank and Pat were heavily involved in the local community, including at Berwick Parish Church, their local school, the local Abbeyfield Society, and the town’s Probus Club. Sadly, Pat died in 2015 aged 84, and Frank died in January 2018, aged 94. The new £2-million endowment fund established with their legacy will generate around £100,000 a year to support a wide variety of charitable activities in Berwick and its surrounding area.
‘We know that wealthy individuals think that their professional advisors could and should be giving them philanthropic advice’ says Sandra King, Chief Philanthropy Officer at the Community Foundation. ‘Not only is it good for an the advisors’ bottom line, with higher client satisfaction and retention rates, but it can also inspire the children of clients to better engage with their firm and keep a family’s business as the wealth changes from generation to generation. Research also shows that high-net-worth clients give 17 times more to charity if their professional advisors had a good conversation with them about philanthropy.’
Sandra adds: ‘Our message to professional advisors, especially those in the early stages of their career, is that by talking about philanthropy with your clients now, you will make far more difference for local charities than if you were to do 50 sponsored runs, or charity cake sales. So, start having the conversation now and help unlock funds for communities.’
Recognising the role of professional advisors in generating philanthropic funds for communities, the Community Foundation has launched a series of videos for professional advisors titled ‘How to speak confidently about philanthropy with your clients.’ They feature a panel of local experts who share their top tips on this topic and are available on the Foundation’s website.