The unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic has impacted us all in so many ways – for some of us this extends to influencing new philanthropic ideas or even spurring some into finally putting their philanthropic aspirations into reality.
A recent charity matter we have been involved with that arose out of the pandemic was certainly an innovative one: three individuals got together to set up “Concerts for Carers” which launched in Summer 2021. Its objective is to improve the mental health and wellbeing of NHS workers and carers through music, after the extreme pressure they have been under as a result of Covid admissions. In partnership with music venues across the UK, the charity distributes free music event tickets to NHS workers and carers who enter into a ballot online. This activity will form part of ongoing research into how music can be used as therapy in the mental health world and the extent of benefits it can bring about.
Seeing the immediate success of such a worthwhile cause may inspire others to set in motion their philanthropic vision and establish their own charity. There are a variety of charitable structures to choose from; Concerts for Carers opted for a charitable company, but other common options include a charitable incorporated organisation or a charitable trust, which each have their own features.
There is no denying that running a charity, regardless of the specific structure chosen, is a big responsibility requiring commitment and a real desire to learn how to run it effectively, all in the public eye. Before embarking upon such a journey, research into alternatives is essential. For example, consider whether setting up an account with a donor-advised fund provider, into which you can make donations and suggest to the provider to which charities you would like them to make grants, is more appropriate instead.
For those who are ready for the challenge, however, having your own charity offers more flexibility to benefit a wider range of beneficiaries and not only ensures control over meeting your philanthropic goals but also, and arguably more importantly, can realise new ideas to help others, just as Concerts for Carers has done.