This week Charles Russell Speechlys SA is hosting a drinks reception at Geneva University to celebrate the International Federation for Human Rights' 100th anniversary. To reflect on the success of this globally recognised and pioneering NGO, we explore some considerations clients and intermediaries may wish to give in relation to their own charitable and philanthropic initiatives.

Ways you can give

There are various ways to support charitable giving and philanthropy. With careful planning, individuals can make lifetime gifts and/or leave portions of their estates to charity. Similarly, settlors of trusts and founders of family or private offices can focus on philanthropy and charitable giving as part of their mandate for the distribution of wealth, often over several generations.


Generally speaking, taxation is usually favourable towards charitable gifting. However, cross-border gifting may give rise to domestic and/or foreign taxes which could otherwise be mitigated.

For individuals, consideration should be given to whether charitable deductions are available. Trustees should also consider the tax consequences of charitable distributions, and ways they can be mitigated.

For more significant or long-term regular donations (e.g. from corporate donors and family or private offices), consideration should be given to gifting through an intermediary such as a community foundation or a donor-advised fund.


There is no single approach to philanthropy. While many philanthropists have established charitable foundations, others donate to existing causes.

At Charles Russell Speechlys our charities and philanthropy team are well placed to advise in this area.