Talking Philanthropy 2017


Colin Cameron, writing for Global Philanthropic, outlines the organisation’s recent Kleinwort Hambros-supported London conference

Ted Turner and Lloyd Dorfman CBE are two titanic philanthropists. They also proved to be distinguished bookends at Global Philanthropic’s Mission & Culture symposium, a day brimming with the sort of philanthropy-related content that could fill a university library.

It was Turner who brought proceedings to a close with a rallying call to all those who today make up the world that he ignited with a $1bn donation to the United Nations 20 years ago.

Lloyd Dorfman meanwhile opened the London gathering, attended by representatives from education, finance, museums, art, politics, and medicine with his own take on philanthropy’s five key roles; donor, fundraiser, sponsor, chairman and trustee.

Between these two industry pillars delegates enjoyed intense workshops and even a sprinkling of stardust as Darcey Bussell CBE quick-stepped away from the rigours of Strictly Come Dancing to present the occasion’s new philanthropy award to Geoff Holt, to mark his success in establishing Wetwheels, a charity that ensures those in wheelchairs are never landlocked.

The event has doubled in size since its first staging in 2016. Twelve months on, ‘Talking Philanthropy’ was bolstered by a new partnership between Global Philanthropic and Kleinwort Hambros, part of the Societe Generale Group, whose head of private banking, Jean-Francois Mazaud, welcomed the three-figure attendance.

Dorfman, who has been a donor, fundraiser, sponsor, chairman and trustee (usually simultaneously), covered every angle of philanthropy, giving a 360 degree view of his passion. Dorfman’s philanthropy developed alongside the growth of his business, Travelex, which he set up in 1976, and his presentation covered philanthropy from all sides.

From a donor’s perspective he stressed that a cause must resonate. “It is not just about the money,” he maintained. Regarding fundraising, he urged organisations to remember to say ‘thank you’, adding, “Ask people who have made donations to ask others.” 

Drawing on Travelex’s various sponsorship deals, from the National Theatre ticket scheme to the Australian national cricket team, he emphasized the importance of making deals “win-win” for both parties. “Stay close, with renewal in mind,” he added.

 As for his many roles as a trustee, he underlined the importance of professional expertise. “Have an accountant and a lawyer on the board,” he advised. Things can become more complicated than you might think.”   

  • This is an extract of a blog about the event by Colin Cameron, written for conference organisers, Global Philanthropic. Read the full blog here.