Charity benefits the donor as well as the recipient

Letters to the FT

As published in the Financial Times

Sir, Your headline “Oxfam scandal will deter rich from charitable giving, private bankers say” (February 19) is not necessarily helpful. It’s a bit like saying people will not buy films any more because of Harvey Weinstein, and I don’t believe that’s realistic or true.

Intelligent entrepreneurs, professionals and executives in industry, among others, will I am sure keep giving, and so they should if that is where their hearts lie. It may change to whom they give, but I doubt whether it will deter their charitable giving, which of course benefits the donor as well as the donee.

There are imperfections everywhere in life, whether in business, the charity sector or otherwise, because they involve people. However, despite the failings of mankind, particularly a small number of those who behave inappropriately, we have to continue to promote and encourage exemplary behaviour especially when it comes to helping the needy. To do otherwise is akin to suppressing investment growth because more tax will be payable – it is totally counterproductive in every respect, and in fact limits more giving.

I should add that charitable giving isn’t just the preserve of the rich; we should be mindful of the “widow’s mite” when it comes to making judgments about charitable giving.

From Nicholas M R Fletcher, Chief Executive, London Wall Partners. London EC2, UK