Engaging into a philanthropic project - Expert Views
What is philanthropy?
Etymologically defined as "the desire to promote the welfare of others", the concept of philanthropy relates, nowadays, to the involvement of corporations as well as individuals in supporting the common good
There are many ways to be a philanthropist: making donations to non-profit organizations, volunteering, getting involved in a pro bono program, making a bequest or establishing your own foundation.
Many of you want to engage into philanthropy, manage your assets in a meaningful way and “give back”. And the common good takes on different aspects: supporting the arts, funding medical research, education and outreach programs, helping the people in need, for example.
The way to practice philanthropy has changed, too: you want to make sure that your generosity will make a tangible impact on society.
How to get involved?
You are an entrepreneur, and you plan on selling your company? You are a parent, a grandparent, and you wish to share values and gather your family within a philanthropic project? You wish to donate to a charity in your will? Your commitment can take different forms.
For example, you could become a patron of an existing non-profit organization, or establish your own foundation. You could get your dearest ones or your employees involved within the governance.
You could act today or plan your philanthropy for the future. You could make financial donations, give company shares, pass on real estate in full ownership (i.e., in its entirety) or in usufruct (the right to use a property and to receive its income, without owning it.
As I mentioned, there are many ways to get involved, and it is crucial to be well guided.
Points of attention
Whatever strategy you favour, getting involved in philanthropy need to be analysed in the light of your wealth management strategy and your family situation.
For example, depending on your country of residence, you might want to make sure that your philanthropic action is compatible with the rights of your heirs. A significant philanthropic project, as well as a bequest project, should require the advice of your personal advisors (lawyers, notaries. Finally, keep in mind that establishing a foundation requires time in terms of management and governance. What are your reporting obligations? How can you make sure that your foundation acts within the legal framework of the non-profit sphere? How do you get the next generation on board? Who will manage the foundation after you?
How can Societe Generale Private Banking assist me?
We are convinced that, as a private bank, we have a strong responsibility in assisting our clients engaging into philanthropy. At Societe Generale Private Banking, the mission of our Philanthropic Services team is to inspire and guide you, along with your usual advisors), in implementing a philanthropic strategy that makes sense for you, your family, and has a positive impact on society.
We are at your side to help through every step of your philanthropic journey: to help you define your goal, finding a role for the people you want to partner with, to establish your foundation and define its strategy and its impact.
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