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A UK renaissance in creative philanthropy needed, says new LSE report

Old-fashioned charities need to re-model themselves as creative foundations and factories of ideas, according to academics at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).

The report From Charity to Creativity: philanthropic foundations in the 21st century appears at a critical time when the Government is actively pursuing a policy of involving foundations ever more in meeting the nation's educational, health, social and cultural needs. Yet can foundations deliver?

Authors Helmut K Anheier, Centennial Professor of Social Policy at LSE, and Dr Diana Leat, a highly respected expert on charities and visiting fellow at LSE's Centre for Civil Society, take a critical look at the future of foundations and charitable trusts in the UK.

They argue that, while endowed, philanthropic foundations are a good and increasingly vital institution in modern societies, their current visions, roles, and, above all, organisational forms make it difficult for them to fulfil their promise.

For many foundations, there could ultimately be little defence for the significant privileges they enjoy, in particular their favourable tax treatment and their right to operate with a minimum of public oversight and accountability.

Professor Anheier said: 'Against this backdrop, a new vision and legitimate role for foundations based on their innovativeness and creativity is going to be essential. As a private problem-solving institution for public problems, the Creative Foundation which this ground-breaking book proposes is an exciting prospect.'

Dr Diane Leat said: 'Such a renaissance in philanthropy would have the potential of releasing a new energy, both intellectual and practical, meaning foundations can evolve as factories of ideas that bring about and facilitate innovation in the broadest sense.'

Ends

For copies of the book, please contact:
ECO Distribution, Crosswell, Crymych, Pembrokeshire SA41 3TE; tel: 0123 989143; email: jill.chandler@virgin.net| (Cheques payable to 'ECO Distribution')
The Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust, The Garden House, Water End, York Y030 6WQ; tel: 01904 625744; email: info@jrrt.org.uk| 

Press enquiries: contact Jessica Winterstein, LSE Press Office, on 020 7955 7060 or email j.winterstein@lse.ac.uk| 

Notes for editors:

Helmut K. Anheier is Centennial Professor at LSE, and Full Professor at the School of Public Policy and Social Research, University of California, Los Angeles. Diana Leat is a internationally known expert on philanthropy and foundations, and visiting fellow at LSE's Centre for Civil Society.

From Charity to Creativity: philanthropic foundations in the 21st century is
published by COMEDIA in association with the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust
ISBN: 1 873667 16 7 160pp £12.95 (incl. postage and packing)

25 November 2002

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