Wednesday, 7 March 2007

On Giving....

A few years ago I was interviewed for a thesis that was being written on charitable giving in the UK. At the time I was working for a US company.

I explained that it was an unwritten policy of the company that every senior manager had to give 5% of their annual income to charity - or be called in front of the terrifying chief exec. The thesis writer started taking frantic notes and expressed amazement.

But in the US there is long history of wealthier people (and often the semi wealthy) endowing charities in their community. The tax system allows donations to be made in tax friendly way and you can't buy a peerage. Its not perfect but it helps.

Many of the local villages I represent are crying out for money for infrastructure - from leaky sports facilities to road safety initiatives let alone hospitals, schools, universities. I've seen the same need in Cities too. Local people often have a better idea of where money can make a real difference - but the first and only call here often seems to be to the tax-collector for funds. There is a better way - give people more choice where their money goes and it will be spent more wisely.

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