Giving News March 2017


We speak to Dan Noakes, Private Client Manager about an entrepreneurial approach to philanthropy.

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Dan Noakes is one of our Private Client Managers. He works internationally with philanthropic individuals, family foundations and corporate clients to offer them tax-effective ways to give to charity. Here, he talks to us about his client portfolio and offers advice to new philanthropists.

What role can philanthropy advice play in developing effective giving?

Philanthropy means so many different things to so many different people, partly because it is so many different things. It is broadly defined as “the desire to promote the welfare of others, expressed especially by the generous donation of money to good causes.” However, in my opinion, philanthropy can be so much more than that. Philanthropists go beyond providing money to charitable causes and many also donate their time, their knowledge and their skills.

Therefore, philanthropy advice can help develop effective giving by not only looking at ways of funding social change, but also considering how your skill set and profession can contribute to your chosen cause.

Tell us a bit more about your client portfolio. What types of professionals do you work with?

My portfolio is very diverse and I deal with a wide range of professionals from musicians and hedge fund managers to CEOs and clothing designers. They each have their own unique giving ambitions and different pathways to achieving it. That’s what makes my job so exciting: no two clients are the same. Each client comes from a different walk of life and how they got there is evident in the charitable projects they decide to support. 

How do you work with associates and partners? 

We have a long history working with legal firms and we understand that the relationships they have with their clients is key. Whilst giving general advice to help clients fulfil their philanthropic aspirations, we also offer a donor advised vehicle to facilitate their giving which is an alternative to registering their own foundation with the Charity Commission.

Many legal firms believe that talking about philanthropy with their clients takes their relationship to the next level and it is a great way to address other aspects of their lives that they may not have necessarily known before; including their passions and interests, getting to know their wider family and thinking about succession planning.

Why do you think donor advised giving in the UK is increasing?

The term donor advised giving is a fairly new concept here in the UK but has been around in the US for some time now. I think more and more wealthy individuals and families are keen to focus their efforts on something other than their day job.

Alongside the gift of money, we are seeing a real interest in individuals and families offering expertise and their time to the causes they care about. Through various conversations I have with clients, families don’t just want to forward on their wealth to the next generation – instead they want them to think about what is important to them and to instil values from a young age.

A donor advised giving fund is a great starting point to engage the whole family with giving without the cumbersome duties that come with a registered foundation – and because it is donor led, it still gives a sense of control. We work with a number of established philanthropists, as well as those who are just starting out – so a donor advised giving fund is proving to be a flexible option wherever you are on your journey. 

You work with a number of entrepreneurs - how do their giving needs and patterns differ from your other clients?

It has become clear to me that entrepreneurs have a different outlook to the other types of client I work with. An entrepreneur tends to have an element of risk about them and the way in which they approach philanthropy reflects this. Entrepreneurs tend to want to do something a bit different to traditional donations and grants. Social investment is something that I have had many conversations with entrepreneurs about as it is innovative and has more risk attached to it.

What one piece of advice would you give to an entrepreneur wanting to start their charitable giving?

Take your time. As an entrepreneur, everything is very fast paced and you may find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with a vast amount of money. Philanthropy is a perfect opportunity to take a step back and assess your core values and what is important to you. Think about where you want to see change; you may have some ideas from your own personal experiences or those you have met along the way in your professional career. Take some time and, somewhere, there will be something that clicks that you are drawn to and that will become an area of focus for your philanthropy.

Dan Noakes

Dan Noakes

Senior Private Client Manager
“My role at CAF varies from day to day and I love having the chance to interact with different people from all walks of life and learn about their interests and values; it keeps things interesting!"

Contact Dan via email or telephone on +44 (0) 3000 123 053

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