Philanthropy Advisers
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030 0012 3234
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Joanna Walker, head of private clients at Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), has ‘the best job in the world’, she says. ‘I help wealthy individuals and families channel their charitable giving.’ Walker has an enormous client base: ‘About 2,700 the last time I checked.’ Last year her clients gave a total of £260 million to charitable trusts through CAF. ‘I worked in the voluntary sector for a very long time, but then I realised that it was the wealth managers who were advising the really wealthy clients on philanthropy, so I switched from the voluntary sector to the private banking sector.’ And it was quite a switch, ‘going for an interview at UBS in Mayfair when you’re working for a charity… It was a bit of a culture shock just walking into the building.’ Walker exclaims that ‘we’ve had an incredibly generous year. The continued success of the stock market always helps — people need to feel wealthy before they feel generous. People held off doing very much, what with all the political uncertainty, but we’ve had a resurgence.’ This year’s Sunday Times Giving List shows that philanthropists on the Rich List have donated a record £3.2 billion — an impressive 20 percent up on last year. ‘This echoes our experience at CAF over many years,’ notes Walker. ‘Major donors are making a huge contribution to charities and achieving amazing things — their importance cannot be overstated. The huge contribution of Britain’s philanthropists makes it possible for charities to do vital work which has a lasting impact improving lives. So it is fantastic to see that those with the greatest means are becoming ever more generous in their support for good causes.’ Advisers at CAF are perfectly positioned to squeeze the most value out of charitable giving, too. ‘Clients often come to us feeling passionate about a particular issue, and through supporting that issue financially and getting involved, they become real experts,’ Walker says. ‘If you’re deeply informed on an issue that you also care about, a lot of good can be done.’

Joanna Walker