Making a Difference

Making a Difference - article for Brunel Capital Partners

At both Brunel and Pilgrim, our core values are to continually improve, to care, to be fair, accountable and authentic and these inform what we do. They also motivate us to get involved in activities in our wider community through fundraising and charity work.

Helping where we can

We are actively encouraged to get involved with causes that matter to us whether it be by giving time and energy to volunteer, donating money to the charities that touch us or sponsoring colleagues. As a company the Bristol office supports several very worthwhile causes which include Children’s Hospital South West and in Wells we support Dementia through the Wells Dementia Action Alliance.

But it is not only us who contribute to worthwhile causes, many of our clients also support charities and not for profit organisations again through giving time, expertise or financial support and they tell us how rewarding this can be, and they often feel they receive more than they give by helping others.

Is Charitable giving one of your financial goals?

The act of giving money away has often been seen as the reserve of few who have great wealth which allows them to be philanthropic. However, we now see an increasing number of clients who list charitable giving as one of their financial planning goals.

Giving now or when I die?

Leaving a financial legacy in a Will has historically been the most popular option as the notion is that, when you die, affordability is no longer an issue. However, for clients who have gone through the financial planning process and where we have been able to demonstrate affordability, they have often chosen to make charitable donations during their lifetime. This has given them enormous fulfillment as they are able see the good their money can achieve firsthand.

And there are Tax Benefits too

In addition to making a difference in society, charitable giving comes with some significant tax advantages. For the income taxpayers among us, most donations (there are a few exceptions) can be gift aided to the charity. This means that for every £1 you donate, the charity you donate to can gross this payment up to £1.25 i.e you receive tax relief at the basic income tax rate of 20%. For higher rate and additional rate taxpayers, additional income tax relief can be claimed through their self-assessment tax return.

There are a number organisations that are able to receive shares and units in collective investment schemes. This has the added advantage of wiping any Capital Gains held within the investments you donate.

For those wishing to leave a legacy in their Will, all gifts to charity are free of inheritance tax (IHT) and since April 2012, anyone willing to bequeath a minimum of 10% of their net taxable estate to charity, can apply for a reduction in the rate of IHT applied to the remainder of their estate from 40% to 36%. The result is that a 10% gift of your net estate to charity has an effective tax relief of 76% if your estate has an IHT liability.

If you are interested in finding out more about making charitable gifts – whether you can afford to do this and the tax benefits – discuss this with your Financial Planner at your next review, they will be able to illustrate how this would work for your personal situation.