Philanthropy and charitable giving

To be truly effective, philanthropy requires a clear vision: understanding what your wealth is for, what purpose you want it to serve and what difference you’d like to make.

For some that vision may be clear, but for others it’s not.

We’ll have that conversation and get to the heart of your interests, concerns and what matters most to you. If you decide to use your wealth (or a proportion of it) for the greater good, we’ll help you find the right strategy. We’ll work collaboratively to achieve your goals and ultimately ensure that your legacy (whatever it looks like) makes a lasting and meaningful impact.

How we can help

Individual philanthropists

Once we understand your reasons for giving and what it is you are looking to achieve, we can tailor our advice on the most suitable approach for you, ensuring any available tax allowances are maximised.

That might mean giving during life, on death (through effective will planning) or a combination of both.

It could mean supporting and working with existing charities or funding a donor advised fund (a way of setting aside funds for charitable purposes that can be used to benefit different charities over time).

You might take the decision to establish your own charity, perhaps as part of a wider family exercise, introducing the next generation to financial responsibility, decision making and social value.

If setting up a new charity is the right option for you, we can advise on an appropriate legal structure, prepare the governing documents and deal with Charity Commission registration to get it off the ground.

Corporate giving

Supporting social causes and giving back to the community not only benefits the public, it’s beneficial for donor businesses too.

As well as reflecting company ethos, it can be a valuable way of engaging employees (enhancing the working culture) and demonstrating ESG credentials (increasingly important in today’s commercial world).

For some businesses, this might involve partnering with a specific charity on a volunteering project, making a one-off gift to a particular cause or establishing a corporate foundation through which ongoing charitable activity can be channelled.

If a corporate foundation is the right solution for you, we’ll prepare the constitution and deal with Charity Commission registration (making sure there’s enough evidence to show the charity will operate independently of the business – crucial for achieving charitable status).

International giving

Protecting the environment, responding to natural disasters, and providing aid to those in need are global problems, often requiring cross border support and collaboration.  If you're thinking of donating to help tackle any of these, you need to be aware that providing direct funding to overseas organisations comes with risk.

We can advise on the steps and due diligence needed to avoid the tax and legal issues that may otherwise arise.

Charity administration and compliance

Running a charity requires ongoing work. Dealing with funding requests, preparing annual accounts and submitting Charity Commission returns are a few of the tasks to manage.

Our team can lighten the load, taking on some or all of the administrative responsibility depending on the level of support you require.

Social investment

If you’re interested in exploring other ways your wealth can play a greater role in benefitting society, we can help structure your investments to align with your values, maximise tax efficiency, make a positive social impact and offer a financial return.


Our experience

Drawing on combined expertise from our leading private client, charity law and ESG specialists, we’re able to offer a unique service that takes a holistic approach to help you achieve your philanthropic goals.

Here are just a few examples or our work:

  • advising on a number of £100 million plus donations, including preparing detailed agreements covering terms/conditions and ongoing obligations
  • establishing many grant making charities for individual clients and their families, providing a structure to let founders and their future generations support their chosen charities and charitable projects
  • advising businesses on creating, funding and running corporate foundations as separate entities through which to give and coordinate wider volunteering activity
  • helping charities establish online legacy packs, summarising key points for supporters to consider (eg, around how to maximise tax benefits when giving) and their options for structuring gifts
  • drafting wills for individuals with provision to create independent charities from estate funds, and then later establishing these charities after death in line with the testator’s wishes
  • advising social enterprises on raising investment in a tax efficient way to create positive social impact as well as generating a financial return for investors


These guides provide free legal and practical help and can be accessed as and when you need them. Click the links below to download the guides in PDF format.


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