Philanthropy through a pandemic

Expert opinion
CEO Jersey Finance





Philanthropy is on the rise, indeed it has been for many years now, but never more so than in 2020.

It really is quite incredible how the challenge of a pandemic such as COVID-19 has inspired such willingness to give, and it has really shown the private wealth and philanthropic sector at its best. According to global management consultancy, McKinsey & Company, philanthropy is showing up both to help flatten the curve in the short term and to address the inequities the crisis will exacerbate over the long term through a range of initiatives such as the launch of community-based rapid-response funds to the development of diagnostics and vaccines.

While it is hard to predict the long-term effects of such generosity and forward-thinking, all we know is that it is happening and making a real difference around the globe – right here, right now.

International finance centres such as Jersey are well equipped to assist with such endeavours, with a deep talent pool of expertise, 60 years of experience and a well-established regulatory and legal system. This is why we will be exploring the future and evolution of philanthropy at the Jersey Finance Private Wealth Conference 2020.

Making a positive impact

The conference, entitled ‘Making a Positive Impact’, will be held virtually for the first time ever this year - inviting a global audience, while ensuring that Jersey Finance Members still have the opportunity to attend what is always an incredibly popular event.

It will feature several panel sessions, in addition to its keynote speakers The Rt Hon the Lord Hague of Richmond and Ruby Wax, OBE. One such panel session will explore the vital role of philanthropy as we move forward past Covid-19 and into a future of giving and global citizenship.

It’s an interesting subject which is difficult to predict, but so intriguing. We will discuss how the movement is being largely led by a new generation of younger, wealthy individuals who feel a certain responsibility to make a real difference. The Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report 2020 says 1.2% of the ultra-high net worth (UHNW) world population is under 35 years old. It states that they have less need to create or grow their own businesses or advance their careers, with some preferring to focus on substantial philanthropic activities. The report finds that in 2019, 72% of the global UHNW population was self-made, enabled by a number of factors including advances in technology and generating new wealth gains relatively quickly.

This is such encouraging news, knowing that young UHNWs are using their wealth for good, and it is down to the financial services industry to recognise this trend and assist this new generation to make the right choices, in a way that benefits both the philanthropic causes they choose to support as well as their own wealth planning.

We will also discuss the ways in which giving has changed in recent years. Candid, an organisation that tracks major grant-giving, has found that not only is the scale of capital being committed by major philanthropists changing (at least US$10.3 billion committed globally in May 2020), but also how it is being given. Capital is being issued at record speed, with fewer conditions, and in greater collaboration with others – I have no doubt this is down to such rapid advances in technology and communication we are seeing in the financial services industry.

This efficiency makes philanthropic giving a lot more accessible and attractive to donors, and almost 750 foundations have signed the public pledge to streamline grant-making processes, according to the Council on Foundations. In addition to this, we are seeing individual donors partnering with their peers to make sizable grants with less paperwork (McKinsey, May 2020).

This is an exciting area to be a part of and we are seeing such rapid and encouraging change, which is vital as we move forward through the pandemic. Indeed, a large part of the global recovery effort does rest on the shoulders of the wealthy who have the capacity and autonomy to be able to make a difference, and quickly, to those who need it most.

Philanthropy Impact is pleased to be a media partner of the virtual Jersey Finance Private Wealth Conference 2020, which takes place on 14th December 2020.

If you wish to attend, please book via this link on the Jersey Finance website: 

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