Mark Nayler looks back at the big philanthropy stories of 2012
Spear’s kicked off 2012 with a call to philanthropic action. In the first issue of the year, we launched the One Per Cent Campaign, setting out our manifesto and the first collection of charities for our readers to support. With this campaign, it was our intention to engage not only the wealth, but the time and business expertise of our readers for the benefit of a range of UK charities.
The campaign, for which Withers came on board as legal partner, remained at the forefront Spear's philanthropy coverage this year. In every issue, we spoke to new charities of interest to our readers, covering causes from education and the arts to helping the homeless back into work and ex-service men and women re-integrate into civilian life.
The campaign was recognised in the national press, receiving attention in the Evening Standard, The Times and City AM.
Philanthropy can be a complex as well as rewarding activity, so we sought to demystify the giving process with the Spear’s Philanthropy Seminar at the end of February.
The panel was an impressive line-up: Nigel Kershaw, CEO of Big Issue Invest; Dominic Lawrence, a solicitor at Speechly Bircham; John Studzinski CBE, philanthropist at the Genesis Foundation; Ian Watson, philanthropist at the Watson Family Foundation, and Alexia Zavos who works on socially responsible investment at Cazenove Capital.
Spear’s editor Josh Spero chaired a lively and interesting discussion touching on all aspects of philanthropic giving: setting up a foundation, tax implications, anonymity versus publicity, social investing and many more.
To lend further assistance to Spear’s readers wishing to become philanthropically active for the first time, Withers, our legal partner in the One Per Cent Campaign, published a Guide to Giving in June. This touched on the issues discussed in the seminar, as well as how to maximise the effect of donations and cross-border giving.
Throughout 2012, we spoke to many influential philanthropists about their work. Michael Moritz (pictured left) grabbed headlines in July when he announced his gift of £75 million to the University of Oxford.
We caught up with Michael for our Giver and the Gift column, in which we also spoke to Andrew Selby, who started at Oxford this September with the assistance of one of the first Moritz-Heyman scholarships available. Earlier in the year, we ran a piece on how important philanthropy is to Oxford University.
Mitch Winehouse, Amy Winehouse’s father, was another philanthropist profiled in Giver and the Gift, and spoke movingly of his daughter’s death and the valuable work he is doing with the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
We rounded off a busy year in philanthropy by concluding our One Per Cent campaign. In the penultimate issue of 2012, we spoke to Nick Hurd, Minister for Civil Society, who urged the Spear’s readership to donate 1 per cent of their annual income to charity.
He said, ‘I think initiatives like yours are very important because they get people thinking. If more HNWs looked at the campaign, they might think, “Well, actually, how much do I give?” You get people thinking about their giving.’