A multi-generational view of philanthropy
Bella Franks, member of the Hoare family, chairs a young philanthropy network called the Contact Collective, which fundraises for the charity ‘Contact a Family’ which merged with the Lady Hoare Trust, an organisation her grandmother started.
Tell us about your philanthropy.
I run the young philanthropy network, the Contact Collective, and chair the committee. We fundraise for the charity Contact a Family which supports and helps families with disabled children. The committee hosts events, such as dinner parties, photography exhibitions, gigs, or comedy evenings to raise money. Philanthropy is important to my family so I have always viewed giving as a fundamental part of my life. This has mainly been through voluntary work, from cooking meals at a homeless drop in centre, to helping in an art class for rough sleepers, to working on the reception at a charity for people with facial disfigurements. I find it interesting and inspiring.
What does your family heritage mean to you?
I am a member of the Hoare family and my grandfather, Sir Derick Hoare, was Lord Mayor of London in 1962. My grandmother Mary Hoare started the Lady Hoare Trust to support babies born affected by the drug Thalidomide given to their mothers for morning sickness. My grandparents are my main source of inspiration and I feel proud of my heritage. I feel privileged to continue the work my grandmother dedicated her life to through The Lady Hoare Trust, which merged with Contact a Family in 2004.
You say art can help connect wealthy individuals to the philanthropy sector. Tell us how.
I worked with a team at Contact a Family to host a photography exhibition at a gallery on Pall Mall with photographs of two families with disabled children. The photographs were full of warmth whilst conveying the realities of living with a disabled child. The exhibition was the perfect way to engage people in the cause and inspire them to think about giving. Art is a very powerful tool for impact and I believe it is a great way to promote philanthropy.
What is your advice for millennials?
I want young people to view philanthropy as fun, creative, sociable and fundamental to living a fulfilled life. Promoting the welfare of others and expressing generosity has a real feel good factor. I believe that many see philanthropy as something for the elite, and so I promote philanthropy as a means of giving in a way that is so much more than simply writing large cheques. If my generation understand philanthropy now, society will be more generous and supportive in the future.
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