My philanthropy journey: The story of a secret millionaire

Bradley RebackEvery client we work with has their own unique and often inspiring experience of giving.  Through our newsletter we’ll share some of our clients’ stories with you.  This time we talk to Bradley Reback - successful entrepreneur, philanthropist and secret millionaire - about his own special philanthropy journey. 

Bradley spent the first part of his career working as a fundraiser for a national charity.  He then took some time away from the sector to follow his entrepreneurial spirit and - in his words: “make some real money”.  When he sold his successful care home business just 10 years later, he used the proceeds to return to his philanthropic roots.

His first move was a little unorthodox: “I knew it was time to reconnect in a qualitative way with the voluntary sector” Bradley tells us “and I was privileged enough to do this through my own experience as a Secret Millionaire, for the Channel 4 show.”

Secret Millionaire immersed Bradley in the world of homelessness and poverty and enabled him to interact with charities on the ground and see first hand the impact his support had on their beneficiaries.  Living undercover as a homeless person brought Bradley face to face with the horror that the homeless live through each day, but also brought home the positive impact that he and others can have on their situation. This experience will stay with him forever, says Bradley: “Philanthropy can be life changing for the recipient, and also the donor.”

With his philanthropic passion reignited, Bradley immediately started to look into setting up his own CAF Charitable Trust. After some research he realised that this was no mean feat: “You need lawyers, accountants, approvals from the HMRC and of course there are lots of costs for all that advice and guidance.” 

As a fundraiser Bradley had regularly come across Charities Aid Foundation and this prompted him to get in touch with us to see how we could help.  He said: “It was with great speed and efficiency that my trust was ready to go, and the low costs and tax advantages were even bigger benefits.  Since then, with CAF’s support, I have been able to focus on my charitable activity - which I take very seriously.”

Bradley named the Brad Phillips Charitable Trust after his undercover character on the show, and its primary focus, unsurprisingly is homelessness. One of the first developments is an innovation of which Bradley is particularly proud. “We’ve created a map that shows the support and facilities available for those sleeping rough and homeless in Brighton and Hove, which has acted not only as a guide for those who need it and but also by enabling additional support for homeless people through its creation” he says. “It is regularly updated and its impact monitored. We are planning to roll this out to other cities.”

Bradley sees philanthropy as an important and enriching aspect of his life.  “My charitable trust is one of the things I am most proud of in my life, and something I hope to leave long after I have left the planet.  And with CAF it was so easy to establish.”

If you’d like us to share your experience of giving, we’d love to hear from you. 

Please get in touch about this, or with any other comments or thoughts you’d like to share with us, by emailing philanthropy@cafonline.org or call 03000 123 028

 

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