About Ethical Giving
Before we look at the 'who' behind Ethical Giving, let's look at the 'why'.
Ethical Giving was set up in 2009 by the independent financial advice company Ethical Investors. Since 1989 Ethical Investors
has donated at least 50% of its net trading profits to good causes each year without any fuss or fanfares; the beneficiaries of our donations have always been selected by the firm's clients, not by the firm itself. Over recent years, however, we have seen the steady creep of big business into many areas of philanthropy, which has contrasted starkly with our own low key approach.
Since 1989 Ethical Investors has tried many different ways to get donations efficiently and quickly into the hands of those who need them, including using organisations such as Charities Aid Foundation and Triodos Bank. Giving money to charity is, on the face of it, very simple; as an individual one makes a donation, using Gift Aid where appropriate, and we as a company operate along similar lines. The problem, in our experience, arises when one makes use of a third party organisation to channel donations to multiple charities.
Donating to multiple charities, or making anonymous donations, can be time consuming and rather cumbersome; each donation to a charity requires separate payments and separate Gift Aid forms, and anonymity is difficult when sending a personal cheque! For this reason, a number of organisations now exist to act as a conduit for such donations. Whilst these services may well appear to be user friendly and cost effective, in too many cases this is far from the reality. The businesses and organisations which have emerged to service the charity sector enable a flow of donations from caring individuals and businesses to charities, but an increasing slice of the donation is taken on the way. This slice may be up front or hidden, but it is significantly reducing the amount of money that was originally intended to support good causes.
We should like to see charities growing, rather than the organisations supporting them. Having said this, it is absolutely right that a fair price is paid for genuinely beneficial services. What we at Ethical Giving object to is the steady increase in fees and deductions levied by many organisations set up, at least ostensibly, to support charitable giving. Against this background, the first ideas for Ethical Giving were born.
Ethical Giving was registered as a grant making foundation in August 2009, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Ethical Investors. In the same way that Ethical Investors' activities were considered innovative and inspirational for financial advisers in 1989, so Ethical Giving will be taking charitable giving to the next level: we shall offer something unique and innovative in the charity sector. As well as receiving the annual profit distribution from Ethical Investors, Ethical Giving will be able to accept regular donations from individuals and businesses and also legacies. The benefits of using Ethical Giving for your charitable donations are outlined in the Donations/Legacies section