Philanthropy | For Goodness’ Sake

Unique experiences that make ideal gifts

Cooking with Raymond Blanc? It’s just one of a range of charity gifts

Unique experiences that make ideal gifts

November 20 2011
Lindsay Macpherson

Pro Dono, a recently launched non-profit, has come up with a novel way to solve an age-old dilemma: what to get the person who has everything? The company specialises in brokering one-to-one experiences with public figures in a return for a charitable donation, providing the chance to, say, cook with Raymond Blanc, debate astronomy with Sir Patrick Moore or have a meeting about giving strategies with philanthropist and “godfather of the hedge fund industry” Lord Stanley Fink.

The charity has so far enlisted the services of 126 ambassadors from the fields of business, academia, sport, the arts and politics, and its first four meetings have generated more than £20,000 for good causes. An administration fee of seven per cent – to cover running costs – is deducted from each transaction, and, in contrast to auction lots (which are classed as purchases), donors can claim gift aid on most of their contribution, making Pro Dono a very efficient fundraising model.