Is philanthropy part of your wealth plan?

According to the latest Nedbank Private Wealth Giving Report, 88% of high net worth individuals in South Africa gave time, money or goods to charitable causes during 2015. This clearly shows that there is a commitment among the wealthy to give to social causes. In total, they donated R4.2 billion in cash and R2.86 billion in goods and services over the course of 2015.

This presents an interesting challenge, and an opportunity, for the companies that manage the wealth of high net worth clients. Should they play a role in assisting their clients in their philanthropy, and if so, how do they do it?

“As a wealth management business we understand the needs of many high net worth individuals,” says Noxolo Hlongwane, the head of philanthropy at Nedbank Private Wealth. “They want to grow and protect their wealth, but they also get to a point where they are motivated to make a meaningful difference. We have a very long history of servicing this sector and it’s a part of the business that we are really proud of because we enable our clients to give in a meaningful and sustained way.”

The Nedbank Private Wealth Philanthropy Office manages more than R7 billion on behalf of its clients.

“We offer an end-to-end service,” Hlongwane says. “We help them to define their objectives, identify the areas that are important to them, and select the beneficiaries that align with what they want to do.”

The Giving Report also shows that social and community development organisations such as orphanages or shelters for vulnerable individuals, receive the most support. And a third of high net worth individuals had religious motivations for giving.

“People will gravitate towards a cause that is important to them, and they want to leave a legacy,” Hlongwane says. “That’s why we want to ensure that our clients’ giving is sustainable. We manage the assets with a view that we want to grow them over time so that giving also increases over the years.”

Nedbank Private Wealth also looks for strategic opportunities to increase the ways in which their clients can make contributions, such as its annual sponsorship of the Cape Wine Auction. This year the auction raised a record-breaking R22.3 million for educational projects in the Cape Winelands.

“The Cape Wine Auction Trust had set a target of R15 million for this year, but they far exceeded that,” Hlongwane says. “We are always looking for ways to engage with clients and offer platforms where they can give, and the auction is a great way of doing that.”

The money raised at the auction will be distributed to 22 different beneficiaries, each with a specific focus in the area of education.

“Something that resonates with our philosophy is getting as much depth in an area as we can,” Hlongwane says. “The Cape Wine Auction Trust works in the education space, and supports organisations whose work is complementary to each other. For example, some of the beneficiary organisations focus on technology in schools, while others look at nutrition or transport. These are areas that all complement learning, and in this way it’s possible to address multiple social issues within the same space.”