3 Mar 2011

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) today launched a new report: Ten Ways to boost giving. The report identifies current barriers to giving (“I can’t afford it”; “I think charities are inefficient”) and proposes ideas on how to encourage and stimulate people to give more. It is published in light of the fact that giving in the UK  has remained stagnant over the past 20 years – at just 0.4% of total household spending.

On a personal level, this is an issue that is close to my heart. Along with Dame Hilary Blume and Teddy Leifer, I help to organise Happy Givers – an initiative to encourage young Jewish people to honour the practice of ma’aser kesafim, giving 10% of one’s income, which derives from Jacob’s commitment to God: “of all that you give me I will surely give one-tenth to you(Genesis 28:22).

Dame Hilary Blume - a Happy Giver

Dame Hilary Blume - a Happy Giver

I have always been taught to lead by example, and as such I try to ensure that I meet this obligation. Personally I believe it is critical that those of us working in the charity sector give money as well as just time to the causes for which we work. Only then can we expect others to do what we do, not just what we say!

Amongst its recommendations, the NPC report concludes that charities should demonstrate their impact and manage their relationship with donors better. In the first instance, I believe that SURF is doing well – certainly from the positive response that we continue to receive for our Annual Report. However, I recognise that there is still further work for us to do in engaging more effectively our donors.

To that end I promise we will be working on the months ahead.