As well as seeking out investment returns, many private and corporate/institutional clients might consider how to achieve “non-monetary” returns, by using their financial power to pursue charitable and philanthropic objectives. For a corporation, this might form part of a Corporate Social Responsibility programme.
It is important to choose the correct vehicle for holding the assets and providing donations to charitable and philanthropic causes. The chosen entity might work in parallel with the existing private family wealth structure or corporate investments, alternatively it might sit as a completely separate structure, perhaps with different assets and investment objectives.
Importance of a shared family purpose
For families, a shared purpose is essential, and through careful structuring, family members can provide input into the decision-making process when deciding on which causes should benefit, and the type and frequency of support to be given – be it a specific charitable project – or for a longer-term philanthropic endeavour.
Dealing with charitable and philanthropic structures also provides an excellent route for younger family members to be educated in the challenges of dealing with significant wealth. Senior family members may wish to use this platform to start passing on entrepreneurial skills and business acumen to the next generation.
Some key questions for clients – private and corporate
- What quantum (or percentage) of wealth should be designated to charitable and/or philanthropic causes?
- To what extent do I / we wish to be involved? Will younger generations be involved as well?
- What is the timeframe for providing support – should this extend to future generations?
- Should only investment returns be distributed, or can the capital be used as well?
- What causes are close to me, or to our organisation? Who will screen and perform due diligence on suitable opportunities?
- Confidentiality – should my/our name be attached to any distributions? Or should there be anonymity?
Bellerive Trust establishes and administers various structures for charitable and philanthropic purposes, including purpose trusts and foundations. We provide trustees, directors and council members as required.
We can also assist in planning and coordinating meetings of any advisory panels – which will often include family members or senior representatives of a corporation / institution.