Manage Capital

We have a long history of managing philanthropic capital. We recognise that families and foundations have a variety of choices to make as to how their philanthropic capital is managed.

Alternatives for Families and Foundations

Hire your own foundation team, use a donor-advised fund or an outsourced manager, Sumerian Partners. Below we profile the positives and negatives of each option.

Outsourced Manager: Sumerian Partners

  • Track record in maximising impact at scale across sectors and geographies
  • Leverage extensive networks to enable identification of ideal organisations
  • Working “hands-on” with organisations rather than reactively to progress reports received
  • Offer more than just “money” to organisations (which is essential to their success)
  • Able to leverage funding from others – including both public sector and private sources
  • You have the ability to retain your anonymity or maintain your prestige with your own branding/websites as we will solely represent your “outsourced programme teams”
  • Structure grant funding appropriate to organisation needs (FCA authorised) including non-repayable and repayable grants (compounding the overall impact of allocated funding)
  • Enable close linkages with other individuals, families or corporates with aligned interests
  • Ability to redeem your capital to another tax efficient structure in the event of non performance
  • Customised reporting

Managing a Dedicated Standalone Foundation

Create your own tax efficient foundation with dedicated hired staff to manage your philanthropic capital. This is likely to make very good sense for if you have a very large foundation, because:

  • You can employ dedicated staff to achieve your exact mission
  • Full discretion over your philanthropic capital
  • Prestige of your own foundation and staff

But for smaller foundations, such a model can also be:

  • Expensive to set up/maintain
  • Difficult to find/retain staff with the right experience and networks
  • Difficult and costly to find good impact opportunities
  • Difficult to leverage global networks or share lessons learned with other foundations
  • Difficult to leverage funding from others
  • Little, if any, economies of scale

Donor Advised Fund

You can deposit your capital in donor advised funds in a tax efficient manner. This can also be very cost efficient and enable fast implementation, but has the following drawbacks:

  • No team track record of delivering scale and sustainability;
  • Strictly a vehicle to source charities/ non profits
  • Passive response to progress reports rather than proactively engaging with charities to achieve their aims
  • No leverage of funding from other sources
  • Typically just restricted short-term grants (that seldom lead to scale or sustainability)
  • Little to no customisation
  • Not FCA authorised to offer non traditional grant structures
  • No accountability, in many cases difficult to transfer capital to another tax efficient vehicle