John Hooper (Executive Director UK, National Australia Bank Europe Ltd), Tarun Mistry (Partner, Grant Thornton LLP UK) and Ashley Sylvester (Operations Director, Motability Operations Group plc), together with Rev Dr K. Bill Dost (Managing Director, D&D Leasing UK Ltd) have created a group to work on the Foundation’s approach to philanthropy.

Bill Dost, who is leading the group, says:

“We want our approach to demonstrate that as an industry we are engaged, committed and passionate about creating change for businesses, communities and people through economic advancement. To engage a large community of people across the leasing and asset finance industry we will develop a sustainable, achievable vision of giving that inspires the industry and changes the lives of those who participate.

“We want to enhance the industry’s already highly positive attitude, and emphasise that giving should be a fundamental part of the fabric of doing business that extends to more than direct financial contributions.

“One of the areas where we are focusing our attention is in education, where we are interested in helping young people acquire, enhance and become excellent at skills like reading that will shape their personal and working lives. We know that in 2012, some 35% of employers were unhappy with the basic skills of school leavers, a figure which is higher (42%) when employers in professional services are asked*. It’s clear that skills like literacy and numeracy are required for young people to be productive in the workforce and enjoy a better standard of living. While schools are doing their best to equip young people with the literacy skills they need, there remains a large minority who leave compulsory education without these skills. We think we can help.”

The discussion of philanthropy will feature in the Foundation’s First Annual Conference which takes place on 30 September, where Tris Lumley (Director, New Philanthropy Capital) will be talking about how to measure impact in charitable giving, and Verity Rowles (Director of Corporate and Philanthropy, Macmillan Cancer Support) will talk about building relationships between donors and causes.

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