City Giving Day 2016 Q and A: Five minutes with Laura Dosanjh...
Laura Dosanjh, Senior Corporate Advisor, CAF
Why is philanthropy important to you?
Philanthropy is about connectedness. We all need to take responsibility for our society and the world we live in. Through philanthropy I can show my care for others and give to causes that are important to me. I am strongly influenced by the ideas that you should treat others as you would want them to treat you (Kant’s categorical imperative) and that charity begins at home.
Who/What inspires you to give?
There are so many great social enterprises and charities out there that bring people together and build social capital. I am inspired by the energy of social entrepreneurs who refuse to take no for an answer, bring communities together and make a real difference to people’s lives. This isn’t always valued financially by society and I feel that by giving money or time I can show support for these causes and be part of a bigger change.
How does your organisation support you to give?
We have payroll giving
(CAF Give As You Earn) and CAF also has a matching scheme
. But giving is part of the culture and the team I work in is very social. Through my work advising companies on their CSR I also come into contact with a lot of great causes.
Why is giving important in the City? What are the key trends you have seen emerging?
The City is key to philanthropy. Not only does it bring the financial capital, but also the investment mindset and a longer term view. We are seeing the emergence of a longer term view that integrates and mainstreams social impact throughout the business and sees philanthropy as key to creating both social and business value. Businesses are looking more generally across their intellectual and business assets to how they create this value.
If you were given £1m to donate, what difference would you like to make?
That’s a difficult one as there are so many great causes and it is so hard to prove social impact. I think I would look for causes that take a system wide view at addressing social need and prevent people falling into greater need. This might be an organisation that brings people together to address loneliness and isolation, improve their enjoyment of life and perhaps even make them laugh.