Strategic giving for long-term social impact


‘Consumer-champion’ Martin Lewis uses his CAF Charitable Trust to give with purpose.

Summary

Martin Lewis, founder of Money Saving Expert is a long-standing philanthropy client of ours. He uses his CAF Charitable Trust to support his strategic giving, including his Coronavirus Poverty Fund.

  • In 2012, Martin made a charitable donation of £10 million, to be held in his CAF Charitable Trust.
  • Through investments, that £10 million has become £20 million+
  • He’s distributed £10 million so far to various charities.

Martin’s ambition for his giving

In June 2012 Martin sold his MoneySavingExpert.com business to the MoneySuperMarket Group for around £87 million. At the time he pledged to give £10 million to charity and wanted a way to give that money transparently.

Through the CAF Charitable Trust, he established his own foundation-type structure with a large gift of shares. He’s since distributed £10 million to a variety of charities.

Growing his fund

Amazingly, his initial £10 million has become nearer to £20 million. As Martin says in his blog from January 2021;

“The good news – there's still £10.4m left in the CAF fund. If you think this doesn't add up, you're right. There's still about the same amount left as I started with, even after giving nearly £10m away. This is primarily because the investments I have a large chunk of the charity money in did well. Though I've now moved it to safer shores.”

Martin founded the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute in 2016.

The impact

Martin’s Charitable Trust has enabled him to have a big impact with his giving. One of his larger projects includes the Coronavirus Poverty Fund which donated £3.4 million (£2.1 million from Martin, £1.3 million raised) to provide urgent relief to those struggling during the pandemic.

A further £2.5 million has gone towards the creation of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute with the aim of breaking the toxic link between mental health issues and debt.

Overall, his CAF Charitable Trust has enabled him to give strategically to the causes that matter to him:

“A 'giving philosophy' does sound a bit pratty to me, but apparently it is the modern term for deciding what donations you make – and I do try to have a logic behind my decisions.”

Future plans

He plans to focus the remaining money in his CAF Charitable Trust on larger projects he’s actively engaged in, “rather than just writing a cheque, and I do research and planning for max impact. So I aim to keep disbursing the money gradually, as and when appropriate.”

Case study 

Martin Lewis
CAF Charitable Trust client

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