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How useful are Rich Lists, and should we be interested in landowners?

How useful are Rich Lists, and should we be interested in landowners?

I was at the latest Researchers in Fundraising (RiF) conference this week. It was another very interesting day (and the food was great). There were all sorts of interesting issues raised, including “how useful is the Rich List, and how can it best be used”. One of the speakers made the excellent point that one should check out the shareholders in the companies that are the (major) source of wealth – don’t just go for the main person included on the Rich List. The same speaker was challenged on what he said about researching landowners. Is there any point in researching them? Is it relevant to researchers? I think that it can be an excellent source of leads, and support. Landowners can derive substantial rental income from their landholdings. They might move in interesting social and business circles, and have some valuable connections. A number of them have grant-making trusts, as well as links with local/regional and other charities.

Check out the website of The Valuation Office Agency, an executive agency of HM Revenue & Customs. www.voa.gov.uk The site is a new resource to me, so I have barely used it. If anyone has recommendations to make, please add a comment.

Clinton Devon Estates now has a website, detailing business activities. John Varley is director there, having spent a number of years at BT in senior management roles. Is this a one off, or is it part of a new trend amongst landowners, that could be useful to fundraisers and researchers in all sorts of ways, I wonder?

After the (RiF) conference, some of us eventually ended up in a pub across the road “The Big Red”. It is truly a remarkable venue. If you are ever near the Holloway Road, I would recommend that you pay a visit.

Finbar Cullen established ResearchPlus in 2005 to provide fundraising research services for the not-for-profit sector. He researches people, companies and grant-making trusts and foundations, mostly in the UK, but also other parts of the world. Finbar has published directories of “unpublished” grant-making trusts (registered with the Charity Commission and with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator), and each month he contributes to The Trust List, highlighting newly registered grant-making trusts worthy of particularly close attention.

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