Stuart Andrew – 2024 Speech at the Beacon Philanthropy and Impact Forum

The speech made by Stuart Andrew, the Gambling Minister, at Guildhall Yard in London on 29 February 2024.

Thank you for the introduction, Cath, and good morning everyone.

It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you, on this extra day of the year.

It seems apt to mention that today is also the final day of Payroll Giving Month

And I would encourage us all to consider this fantastic, tax-efficient way of donating to charity directly from your pay or pension.

Giving is in the DNA of this country

And the UK is rightly acknowledged as a world leader in philanthropy.

We know we are one of the most generous countries in the world – the record £12.7 billion given by the public in 2022 is a phenomenal amount.

We know we have a proud tradition of philanthropy, but there is nonetheless plenty of room for growth.

As the Minister for Civil Society, I am acutely aware of how central giving is to our communities and charities across the country.

It’s something I also saw first-hand from my early career in the charitable sector.

It’s not just across civil society that I have seen the transformative role that philanthropy plays.

Philanthropy is integral to everything we do in DCMS.

In sport, fundraising has been fundamental in delivering programmes which seek to deliver social outcomes through participation in sport and physical activity.

In arts and heritage, philanthropy sustains our most beloved institutions – our museums, heritage sites, and performing arts venues.

Our partnership with the Wolfson Foundation has played a major role here.

As has our work with Arts Council England to support arts and cultural organisations to develop their fundraising skills and capacity to attract more private investment.

The Cultural Gifts and Acceptance In Lieu scheme, meanwhile, has meant treasures such as Tolkien’s manuscripts in Oxford.

Or the archives of children’s author Judith Kerr in Newcastle.

Have permanent homes and are made accessible to the public.

I know philanthropy is not just of critical interest to DCMS.

Multiple departments are recognising the value of private capital for the public sector.

The Office for Investment, a joint unit between No.10 and the Department for Business and Trade, has created a new concierge service for high value transformational philanthropic capital.

Its objective is to increase giving from international donors, in the same manner that it does with inward investment.

The lead official, Heather Davenport, is here today so please do speak with her to discuss this important topic.

Spearheaded by the Secretary of State, DCMS is taking the lead role in coordinating efforts across Whitehall to foster a better operating environment for philanthropy in the UK.

The Secretary of State spoke on this recently at an event I know many of you were able to attend, for the launch of the Onward report.

She spoke about how we are committed to helping more people give and helping people give more.

I want to reiterate the three core areas that she mentioned that we can accelerate across Government.

Firstly, we want to better enable philanthropy and ensure the UK continues to be a good place to give.

This includes helping people understand how they can give.

We are working with the Financial Conduct Authority, wealth management firms and the Treasury to explore the possibility of providing greater philanthropy training for financial advisors.

There is already some innovation in this space, with CFA Society UK recently launching their Certificate in Impact Investing.

This provides investment professionals with the information they need to advise their clients on how their capital can have greater social and environmental impact.

Alongside this, my officials are collaborating with HMRC to consider how the tax environment affects philanthropy, and are engaging with them on their potential work to digitalise Gift Aid.

Complementing this work, we are continuing to support the growth and development of the social impact investing market, which delivers benefits to society alongside financial returns.

We’re working with large scale investors, such as pension funds, to achieve the change we are looking for.

We are also focused on unlocking the huge potential of Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs).

These regional lenders provide affordable loans in the UK’s most disadvantaged places.

Steps like these can make a huge difference for setting in place the right infrastructure across the country for both philanthropy and impact investing.

Secondly, we want to encourage more philanthropy, particularly at a regional level.

One example is West London Zone, a social outcomes partnership where philanthropic money is blended with national and local spend that only pays when measurable outcomes are achieved.

Partly funded by DCMS, it has made a significant difference to children and young people’s life chances.

Yet we know that philanthropy is still primarily concentrated in London and the south.

So we want to explore how similar models could potentially be developed around the country that can maximise social impact.

Can better reach marginalised communities, and can involve people of all backgrounds.

The sharing of expertise is central to encouraging people to donate.

Peer influence also makes a huge difference – one-third of wealthy donors report donating after being encouraged by friends or family.

So we want to help bring together established philanthropists, and high net worth individuals, with the next wave of budding donors

Who are socially conscious and want to make an impact.

People like Sir Lewis Hamilton, who has given £20 million to create his charity Mission 44

And empower young people from underserved communities and diverse backgrounds.

This leads me onto our third area of focus, of fully recognising how philanthropy transforms lives and communities.

We’re seeing how alive and kicking philanthropy is in Stoke-on-Trent, for example

Where philanthropists of all levels of giving are making a difference.

From Denise Coates, who has donated millions towards projects in the city, including £10 million to University Hospitals of North Midlands during the pandemic

To 23-year-old Matthew Bridger, who created his own foundation to provide grants for Stoke charities helping vulnerable people.

Matthew was recognised earlier this year through the Prime Minister’s daily Points of Light award

Which recognises the exceptional service people give to their communities.

We want to celebrate more people who give through awards like these, especially through the Honours system

And I encourage you all to nominate worthy candidates.

We also want to champion campaigns and events that highlight the impact of giving.

So we want to help lead this conversation.

But the Government cannot, and should not, drive this alone.

To enable philanthropy, there are key evidence gaps we still need to understand.

We need high net worth individuals and impact investors to play an active role.

We need to be hearing from those making a difference with their giving, for us to amplify their voices.

And so we also want to learn from you and listen.

Today’s forum provides a perfect opportunity for this.

As the name suggests, Beacon has been shining a light for many years now on the potential for philanthropists to unlock many of the challenges we face today

bringing together those with a shared social purpose, and the means to drive investment towards the places that need this most.

I know there will be many rich conversations over the course of today

Because there is a real buzz around philanthropy right now

And, as you have said, Cath, a real sense of hope, in what we can achieve together

There is an opportunity to capitalise on the kindness of the British public and help make their gifts go further

To help our charities and communities stay resilient and sustainable

To allow our world-leading sport, creative and cultural sectors to continue to flourish

So with that in mind, thank you again for inviting me to speak to you.

I wish you a very successful day ahead and I look forward to continuing to work closely with the philanthropy sector to help it grow to its full potential.