Advice Needed: Philanthropy amongst ultra high net worth individuals and family offices in Europe (2007)

September 2007
New Philanthropy Capital, wise, and the Bertelsmann Stiftung
Scorpio Partnership

The conclusion of research by Scorpio Partnership, the wealth management consultancy, into the views of Europe's wealthiest donors is that wealthy individuals and families may have a plethora of advisors to hand, but they seem to struggle to find suitable advice to help them launch a philanthropic programme or select suitable charities. Private banks, family offices and other trusted advisors are not meeting their clients' philanthropic needs beyond establishing legal giving structures.

The research was commissioned by NPC in partnership with wise and the Bertelsmann Stiftung. It was based on in-depth interviews with 34 ultra high net worth individuals and family offices in the UK, Switzerland and Germany. Respondents had a net worth ranging from $90m to $2.5bn and on average gave away around 5% of their net worth each year.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Philanthropists want advice, not just information, to help them with their charitable giving, and are willing to pay for this advice.
  • The appetite for advice is highest during the initial, start-up phase.
  • Existing wealth management advisors are not fulfilling their clients’ needs, despite philanthropy becoming more integrated into wealth planning decisions.
  • There is a real opportunity for advisors to provide an improved service to their clients.
  • Donors want more opportunities to network with like-minded donors.
  • Donors want evidence to show that their contributions have made a difference.
  • Many donors expressed a frustration at the lack of feedback from charities, though there is a desire not to overburden charities with this obligation.

The report highlights a number of differences between donors in the three geographic regions.

If you are interested in discussing the findings of the report, please contact Plum Lomax on 020 7785 6316 or

This report is tagged under:

  • Charity selection
  • Donor stewardship
  • Family philanthropy
  • Next generation philanthropy
  • Philanthropy Advice
  • Philanthropy stats & trends
  • Promoting philanthropy
  • Trusts & foundations