HNWs and Philanthropic giving

10 February 2022

I was delighted to be invited to talk to the editor of ‘Wealthbriefing’ recently about the important topic of philanthropic giving by HNW individuals and families. You can listen to our conversation in the latest ‘Wealthtalks’ podcast available here.

We covered the following issues:

  • The pros and cons of donating to Owner Advised Funds (OAFs) versus setting up your own charitable foundation - in short, whilst the latter route creates more of a personal legacy, it involves a substantial administrative burden which is not right for everyone.
  • The considerations behind making a one-off sizeable donation and the benefits of regular giving – this will depend not only on a client’s objectives but also the chosen charitable recipient’s programme. Sometimes a one-off donation can be directed towards a particular project but it can create pressure on a charity to make use of the donated funds at a non-optimal time.
  • Jurisdiction – whilst we predominantly advise on charitable giving in England and Wales, where donations can be offset against UK income tax liability, we also assist clients with international wealth and assets, on charitable initiatives overseas and in relation to dual-registered US/UK charities.
  • The question of privacy – where I explained that whilst charities do not have to register on the UK’s Trust Registration Service, global disclosure is becoming ever more prevalent. Trustees should also be aware of the publicly available information recorded on the Charity Commission for England and Wales website for UK charities.

We have a lot of clients who are philanthropic in their giving both during their lifetime and on death. This is rarely for tax reasons, although a tax benefit can exist, in my experience is usually driven by a genuine desire to support causes dear to their heart and to make a difference. As such there is no one-size-fits-all approach - every family, individual or couple will have their own preference on what they want to achieve and where and how they want to direct their funds.

At Kingsley Napley, we can give a broad range of advice in this area, given both our charities and wealth structuring expertise. 

The fact the UK ranked 7th in the world in 2021 for philanthropic giving (according to the World Giving Index published by the Charities Aid Foundation) illustrates just how prevalent philanthropic giving is and arguably, as the editor of Wealthbriefing pointed out, there has never been a more critical time than now for those who are asset-rich, whether UK resident or otherwise, to engage in philanthrophic giving.  


If you would like any further information or advice about the topic discussed in this blog, please contact Laura Harper or our Private Client team.



Laura Harper is a partner in the Private Client team. She advises both UK resident and non-UK resident/domiciled individuals, families and trustees on a wide variety of UK tax, trust law and international estate planning issues, including the planning to be undertaken when moving to or from the UK. She also has extensive experience working on cross-border matters and structuring involving family-owned businesses.


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