Mayors urged to foster new culture of civic philanthropy

Written by Matt Ritchie

England's mayors are being urged to foster a new culture of civic philanthropy in their areas.

Charities Aid Foundation is writing to England's 23 directly elected mayors, calling on them to play a leading role in attracting donations from philanthropists and businesses.

The charity warns that the tradition of civic philanthropy has been in a long cycle of decline, despite the role philanthropy has played in the development of many of the country's towns and cities.

The mayors have been urged to follow five key recommendations. CAF calls for the establishment of Mayor's Funds to attract donations for addressing local challenges and issues.

Mayors have been urged to publish a philanthropy strategy, detailing the approach of the mayoral office to civic philanthropy. They are also urged to appoint philanthropy liaisons to develop relationships with potential philanthropists and local charities.

CAF recommends mayors develop a clear narrative and vision about the role of philanthropy in their areas, and use the profile and status of their office to bring together philanthropists, charities, foundations, companies and public sector bodies to encourage partnerships and identify shared goals.

Rhodri Davies, programme leader of the Giving Thought policy programme at CAF, said the introduction of directly-elected mayors in the UK offers a real opportunity to breathe new life into civic philanthropy, which has long been in decline.

“By championing local giving and putting in place the right structures and strategies, mayors have a golden opportunity to embrace the generosity of people and business to help address local issues.” Davies said.

Access CAF's discussion paper on the subject here.

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