[caption id="attachment_26273" align="alignnone" width="640"] Photo: Manuel Vitali/DC[/caption]
Government Services have started the first phase of a clean-up operation on the cliff faces of the Rock. The objective is to rid them of certain invasive plant species, preserve heritage species and limit the risk of falling rocks above the Port of Fontvieille.
With the aim of preserving local biodiversity, operators store invasive plants and dangerous stones in large white bags hanging on the cliff. To facilitate their work in the field, species identification sheets are available.
To define the areas with a conservation issue, an inventory of the area produced an exhaustive list of alien species and species of heritage interest. Training on good plant management practices was also organised for those taking part.
This clean-up operation will take place in three phases that will follow each other during the winter. The entire programme will be completed by the end of 2019 by cleaning the areas below the Oceanographic Museum and will conclude with a monitoring of the eradication of invasive alien plant species on these sites.
This article addresses the increasing interest by Families on how to be philanthropic, especially from the Millennial (18-35 year olds) members.
There are many reasons, ranging from wealth and tax planning, to brand building, to much more personal motivations, that people may decide to get involved in philanthropy.
Philanthropy is now in vogue, widely celebrated, and adopted as a worthy lifestyle choice amongst the wealthy. We know that philanthropy is on the rise, too. According to the Coutts Million Dollar Donors Report, $56 billion (€47 billion) donations of more than $1 million (€840,000) were made in 2015 – a significant rise from the previous year.
Giving can be a hugely rewarding experience. Getting to know the dynamic individuals and organisations working at the frontline of social change is enriching and humbling. And such engagement can cut across different aspects of your life – from involving the family and even the children in planning and choosing donations, to engaging companies and their employees.
One of the best reasons to give is that the world needs it. Philanthropy has often played a hugely important role in the development of just, democratic societies. Now more than ever – with such global and complex challenges as global under-nutrition, gender inequality, climate change and the refugee crisis – philanthropy has a very important role to play.
What are some of the challenges donors face?
While the journey of a philanthropist is a privileged and rewarding one, it’s not easy to be effective. Here are some of the key pitfalls:
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Feeling overwhelmed by need. The sheer scale of today’s social challenges can be overwhelming. It is said, for example that the global economy will lose $12 trillion (€10.06 trillion) if greenhouse gases are not tackled, and that $3.5 trillion (€2.93 trillion) is lost every year due to global under-nutrition. These are staggering figures, but we mustn’t be disheartened. Private wealth has resources to contribute to this challenge, but they need to be allocated wisely. The great news is that with strategic thinking, even a $26,000 (€21,800) donation could have a catalytic effect in a chosen field.
Defining purpose and value-add. We live in an age of information overload and there will be competing demands for a donor’s attention. The challenge for any donor is how to focus their involvement – this takes a good filtering system and often some solid support. Defining your own purpose and value-add within your chosen field is the true challenge and opportunity of every philanthropist.
Finding great opportunities. The causes that shout the loudest are not necessarily the most effective. Unlike the corporate world, assessing organisations and causes is not straightforward as there is no single bottom line to be compared. There is no stock market for charitable causes. It often takes expertise and/or time and immersion into particular cause areas to find fantastic causes that resonate with your purpose and goals.
Regulatory and risk issues. Donors do not often realise the myriad risk, legal and tax considerations in giving. Setting up your own charitable foundation is an appealing option, but comes with its own regulation and governance requirements. The level of transparency that is needed often surprises and frustrates donors, particularly if giving overseas. It is worth taking advice on the right structure for your giving early on.
Power dynamics. Funders need to be aware that they can influence entire sectors of work (not always positively) by how and what they choose to fund. It’s easy for new donors to wade into subjects with hubris, particularly if they’ve been successful businessmen or women. Unequal power dynamics between funder and recipient do not help to create an honest relationship. Trying to solve a social problem (which is really what this is all about) can take many years, often decades – think of the abolition of slavery, for example, which was pushed forward by a strong civil society movement backed by philanthropic support. It takes patience, focus, and – critically – collaboration across sectors.
Top tips for new philanthropists
Understand the change you want to see and try to think strategically. Understand what change you want to see in the world and work backwards from there. Philanthropy can be catalytic when targeted carefully, but should be informed by a good mix of passion and evidence in order to be really effective.
There are already 160,000 charities in the UK, so be brutally honest about whether you have something new to offer by setting up a new initiative or charitable foundation. A good example is Warren Buffet, who has pledged to give 99% of his substantial wealth to philanthropic causes, the majority of which will go to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Buffet recognises the critical importance of both leverage and avoiding duplication. Sometimes it is worth funding someone else’s initiative rather than reinventing the wheel.
Acknowledge what you don’t know
Get informed. Meet people and organisations. Understand the issues in which you are interested. And don’t expect to go it alone. We know that donors give more when they seek and receive good advice – be it from other, experienced philanthropists, or professionals. Support can help you to filter information, find and assess great causes, and ensure you are meeting all legal requirements. It will enable you to focus on the fun and rewarding parts of philanthropy while ensuring you see the fruits of your contribution much more quickly.
Make a start
Have a go in one area of interest. Make smaller and simpler contributions initially until you are more comfortable with the process. If there’s one thing I’ve witnessed in my years of working in this space, it’s that donors learn best by doing – so just make a start, and have fun with it!
Article first published September 6, 2017. Mark Estcourt is CEO of Cavendish Family Office in London. For more information, see cavfo.com. This article was written in association with one of our Strategic Partners, Juliet Cockram Agnew who is Head of Philanthropy at I.G Advisors.
[caption id="attachment_26221" align="alignnone" width="640"] Cyanobacteria aggregation. Photo: Christian Fischer[/caption]
The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation (FPA2) signed a financing agreement on November 8 with the Chinese Foundation for the Protection of the Environment for a project that culminates at the end of this month.
On Friday, December 8, FPA2 stated that a document was signed by its Vice-President, HE Bernard Fautrier, and Fu Wenjuan, President of the Chinese Foundation for the Protection of the Environment.
The objective of this recent agreement is the funding of a project investigating cyanobacterial water blooms in Taihu Lake, China’s second-largest freshwater lake.
This project involves the in-depth study of the efflorescence of cyanobacteria – the bacteria that caused the Great Oxidation 2.4 of billion years ago, making possible the evolution of living creatures – forming "flowers of water". This phenomenon provides valuable information on the state of water pollution, and the subsequent creation of an information platform open to the general public, will constitute an educational tool as well as a working basis for scientists.
The project will end at the end of December 2017, with the submission of a survey report on the pollution of the lake.
Monday 17 July at 9.30 p.m., Fort Antoine:
Fort Antoine Theatre 2017 Season, "Parlons d’autre chose" ("Let's Talk about Something Else") by Léonore Confino performed by The Birdland Collective organised by the Department of Cultural Affairs, Monaco.
Further information: +377 98 98 83 03
Wednesday 27 September, 6.30 pm, Rainier III Auditorium – Troparium
Musical Happy Hour: chamber music concert by Quatuor EOS, comprising Morgan Bodinaud and Nicolas Slusznis (violin), Sofia Timofeeva, (viola) and Bruno Posadas (cello). The programme features Claude Debussy and Maurice Ravel
Information: +377 98 06 28 28