Philanthropists are increasingly seeking professional advice to support their giving. Research finds that over a quarter (28%) of all wealthy donors have sought professional guidance, rising to almost 4 in 10 (38%) amongst the younger and newer philanthropists, as the book Richer Lives, Why Rich People Give by Dr Beth Breeze and Theresa Lloyd reveals.
But who is giving this advice, and what knowledge base do they draw on?
Many advisors have years of experience working in grant-making and supporting donors, but until now none of them had studied the topic because no academic courses were available. In May the UK’s first academic course on ‘Advising Donors’ began. The first cohort of 15 students includes people working as advisors, senior fundraisers and charity leaders, as well as people seeking careers in that field. Delivered by the Centre for Philanthropy at the University of Kent, with guest lecturers from philanthropy advisors based in banks, community foundations and independent advisory services,.the 12-week course is delivered by distance learning and is part of the MA Philanthropic Studies,which is the first masters-level programme in that subject outside North America.
Pears Foundation has provided support of £156,000 to fund a Pears Philanthropy fellow, Dr. Triona Fitton, who directs the MA programme.
Philanthropist Trevor Pears said: "We hope this post will contribute to a better understanding of the role of private giving in contemporary society, and offer practical ways to help grow an even stronger culture of British philanthropy for the future.”
Dr. Beth Breeze, who directs the Kent Centre for Philanthropy, said “We are proud to be leading the efforts to establish Philanthropic Studies as a serious discipline, and are glad to strengthen the knowledge and evidence base for people working in the philanthropy sector, at an affordable price and in a convenient way that fits around the lives of people with jobs and personal commitments."
For further information please see: contact the programme convenor, Dr Triona Fitton by emailing T.Fitton@kent.ac.uk, for an informal chat about the course.