Overcoming barriers to philanthropy

The event has been held on Thursday 9 March 2023

Overcoming barriers to philanthropy

Event report


On 9 March 2023 Catherine Grum, BDO chaired an event entitled: Overcoming barriers to philanthropy.  The speakers on the panel included Gemma Davies, BDO; Rachel Steeden, Stewardship; Marie-Louise Gourlay, The Philanthropy Workshop; and John Pepin, Philanthropy Impact

The audience was composed of Private Client Practitioners including lawyers, trustees, bankers, and philanthropy specialists.

Topics explored included what holds back wealthy people from giving – the discussion ranging from a lack of advice (including the reluctance of advisers to talk about philanthropy), to it not being a societal norm to give like some other cultures.

John Pepin was asked to outline the recent research Philanthropy Impact completed in late 2022. The purpose of the research was to identify key changes in the way new generations of wealth holders are approaching sustainability and impact and to put forward recommendations for professional advisors on how they should adapt their service offerings to meet the changing needs and expectations of their existing and future clients.

The research, completed by independent consultants, reviewed research reports on next-gen philanthropy and investment and interviewed 11 millennials/GEN Z wealth holders and 9 professional advisors.

Some of the highlights included:

  • The world is changing and with it the needs and expectations of wealth holders.
  • Wealth holders, particularly younger generations, are increasingly seeking to align their wealth with their values. They expect advisors to provide professional support in numerous, increasingly complex areas related to responsible investing and philanthropy.
  • The professional advisory industry is falling short of the expectations of emerging wealth holders. There are warnings that the ongoing wealth transfer could be accompanied by the next generation changing advisors on masse.
  • The study highlighted the reasons and obstacles to advisors meeting the needs of the young wealth holders and solutions, such as Philanthropy Impact's training and membership and partnering with DAFs.

Further discussions focused on giving during one’s lifetime to the important role professional advisors can play supporting their clients on their philanthropic journey.