UBS Says Its Donor Advised Foundations Bequeath More Than £100 Million

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 28 July 2017

UBS Says Its Donor Advised Foundations Bequeath More Than £100 Million

The Swiss bank has released data on the scale of giving from wealthy clients being handled via structures known as Donor Advised Foundations.

Donor Advised Funds are already a significant area of philanthropy business in the US and a similar-sounding UK structure - Donor Advised Foundations - are also gathering momentum, according to figures from UBS.

The Swiss banking house said its wealth management clients in the UK have donated more than £100 million ($131 million) to charity through the UBS UK Donor-Advised Foundation (DAF) route.

Launched in 2014, the DAF enables UBS Wealth Management clients to have their own charitable fund from which they can recommend grants to UK charities; UBS argues this approach strips out the administration chores and costs typically associated with running a charity.  

Of the £100 million amount donated, £40 million has now been granted to UK charities, with grants of nearly £25 million. Beneficiaries have included the UBS Optimus Foundation, a grant-making foundation that helps UBS clients drive sustainable social change for children.  

Family Wealth Report, a sister news service of this one, has reported on how DAFs in the US have grown significantly as a philanthropy channel. (See here - registration required.)  In a report by Fidelity Charitable, which is the second-largest grant-maker in the US behind the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, it seeks to shed light on grant-making behavior of 132,000 donors who use what are called Giving Accounts to support a number of causes. In 2015, these donors recommended $3.1 billion in grants to a total of more than 106,000 groups worldwide. (Fidelity Charitable was in 1991.) The average number of grants per Giving Account each year has nearly doubled in the past 10 years to 9.2 grants per Giving Account; grants of $1 million or more increased 27 percent over the previous year, Fidelity Charitable said in a statement this week. Its report is based on an analysis of both the activity of its 80,000-plus Giving Accounts and survey data comparing Fidelity Charitable donors to charitable donors overall. (Fidelity Charitable is an independent public charity that sponsors the largest DAF program in the US.)


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