The UK Needs Its Buffett and Gates - Tony Martignetti

The UK Needs Its Buffett and Gates

July 8, 2010

in Buffett and Gates Philanthropy Challenge,Charity,Fundraising,Philanthropy,Planned Giving

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 20:  A general view of the Union Flag flying on Victoria Tower of the House of Parliament on May 20, 2009 in London, England. The Union flag flies on the tower, which is situated about the House of Lords, when parliament is sitting.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

A team of UK bloggers laments the lack of philanthropy the United Kingdom suffers. They call on the British government to learn from the Irish government’s initiatives to broaden philanthropy through education.

My suggestion is that the Brit’s new Minister for Civil Society (I’d enjoy handing out business cards with that title. It’s so genteel.) cultivate a few wealthy donors and urge them to speak publicly about their philanthropy and challenge other people of means to increase their own giving. I believe in trickle down philanthropy (but not trickle down economics).

Our Buffett Gates $600 billion challenge raises for all citizens the visibility of giving. Its impact isn’t limited to the trio’s wealthy friends and counterparts. A similar initiative in the UK could be supplemented by government education, as the bloggers suggest, to add greater impact among the broader citizenry. The Gates Foundation in the US is funding a similar initiative with a $3.7 million grant.

This combination of personal solicitation and broader appeal is a lesson in a basic fundraising strategy.

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