A Practical Guide for Meaningful Change through Philanthropy

A toolkit to help philanthropists plan and refine their giving to ensure they achieve the greatest impact has been released in the UK by wealth management firm UBS.

The UBS Philanthropy Compass guides philanthropists through the “necessary building blocks and addresses the key questions” that “any philanthropist should consider when shaping his or her ”.

It is provides advice on:

  • different strategic approaches to philanthropy
  • identifying and assessing opportunities
  • how to implement and evaluate the impact of philanthropic activities
  • choosing the right ‘philanthropic vehicle’, or product, such as direct giving, donor advised funds or setting up your own foundation.

“Whether you are just starting out or running a long-standing foundation, philanthropy is iterative,” the Compass advises potential philanthropists. “It is natural to query and review the basis on which yours is run.”

Taking this iterative approach, UBS says, will allow philanthropists to:

  • adapt their philanthropy to a changing environment
  • improve their operations to maximize impact
  • stay true to their initial visions.

UBS has released the Compass – which was first developed in 2011 with Cass Business School and social impact consultants FSG – as an open source resource for trustees, philanthropy advisors and individual and family philanthropists, not just clients of UBS. The handbook is intended as a working tool, a discussion starter which can ultimately help individuals and organisations find their own answers.

The Compass was launched in the USA at the end of March. It can be downloaded from UBS’s website or viewed online.