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Maria Miller: Philanthropy will help secure the future of the arts

Benefits of legacy giving highlighted in new report.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Culture Secretary Maria Miller today welcomed the publication of a report which contains innovative ideas - and a ten-point plan - to boost philanthropy and legacy giving to benefit the arts and heritage in the UK. 

This summer showed once again how important the arts are to Britain, through the success of initiatives such as the Cultural Olympiad.  The arts are a key element underpinning the unique cultural heritage of the UK and looking at new and innovative ways of supporting them is an important element of the Government’s growth agenda.

Welcoming the report by Roland Rudd, Chairman of the Legacy10 campaign, Maria Miller said :

“There is enormous potential for the arts to benefit from philanthropy over the next few years, and we need to look at new ways of unlocking it. Although income from the National Lottery is set to rise significantly now that we have restored the shares of proceeds going to the original good causes, other avenues of potential funding need to be considered. The economic climate means that philanthropic support for the arts, especially through legacies, will be ever more important in the years to come.”

The Government will now consider the report’s recommendations, and Mrs Miller will call on everyone in the arts world to see what they can do to boost fundraising activities in order to help create a sustainably-funded cultural life for the nation.

Arts bodies ‘need to get better at asking for support’

She continued:

“Some of our arts and heritage bodies have built great relationships with their supporters in this area, but for all that, only seven per cent of people currently leave a legacy in their will. And too many companies and organisations in the arts and heritage world still have no legacy giving scheme in place. So, they need to get better at asking for this kind of support. I want many more cultural organisations to benefit from legacies, and we will be happy to help make this a core element of greater giving to culture across society as a whole”

The report is one of three commissioned by the Government, and is the first to be published. Together they look at ways to unlock the potential of philanthropy in these tough economic times as a key element in support to the cultural sector.  The other 2 reports are due to report back shortly and emphasise the Government’s commitment to this agenda.

Roland Rudd’s recommendations

1 All three main political parties should agree a “non-regression” pledge in their 2015 manifestos which commits them to leave the existing Inheritance Tax reduction for legacy-giving untouched until the 2020 Parliament and beyond.

2 The Government should create a charities “tsar” to review and streamline policymaking on charities across Whitehall Departments.  The review should also include the duplications inherent in the charities sector and suggest new structures where appropriate.

3 Secure a commitment from key advisor organisations to compel their members to raise philanthropy, and in particular the Inheritance Tax benefits of legacy giving, when discussing tax planning and will writing with their clients.

4 Companies in the FTSE-250 should be persuaded to provide financial advice and assistance to any employee who wants to make a pledge to charity in their will.

5 Government should implement targeted tax breaks for giving as a way of creating lifetime donors who will later leave a legacy.  This should include a cut to the top rate of income tax for those who agree to make a planned, minimum period financial commitment to a charity. 

6 Government and charities should jointly:

  • Oversee and create an online iTunes U training programme, made available for free to all legacy fundraisers across the UK; and
  • Plan a virtual legacy-giving academy to help share best practice in this area

7 Every registered charity in the UK should be required by the Charity Commission to provide evidence in its annual report of a legacy-giving strategy and the current income level from this activity.

8 People nominated for honours in the field of business should need to provide firm evidence of charitable giving and/or volunteering of time.  Related to this, there should also be m**ore honours given for philanthropy.

9 A new award should be created and supported by the Government, recognising the contribution of individuals who have shown exceptional innovation in the field of legacy-giving.

10 The organisations that Arts Council England supports should demonstrate philanthropic fundraising, including legacies.

Further information

Published 19 November 2012