Lord Mayor Charles Bowman’s speech for the Bishops and Archbishops Dinner

An extract from the Lord Mayor Charles Bowman’s speech for the Bishops and Archbishops Dinner in the evening of Thursday 8th February at the Mansion House

Speaking about philanthropy in the City - past and present, and the City of London Corporation’s initiatives in this sector, the Lord Mayor is expected to say:


“We have put giving and service to others at our core – our institutions have shaped the communities around us.

The streets around us have been inscribed by history. On your walk around the City, you would notice places with names like Gresham, Cass, Peabody. These places commemorate the fine philanthropists that the City has created.

Sir Thomas Gresham, responsible for London’s first institute of higher learning in 1597. Sir John Cass, supporter of charity schools in the eighteenth century. And George Peabody, provider of housing for the poor in the mid nineteenth century.

Their names are now woven into the fabric of the City.

But more important than their names are their many gifts to London and its people. Parks and commons; museums, libraries and hospitals; housing estates and almshouses; universities, colleges and schools. Of course, the most effective philanthropy improves society as a whole.

The legacy of philanthropy is evident throughout our city. And we continue to see its lasting contribution. That is why strategic, effective philanthropy is central to the work of the City of London Corporation.

Our charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, now gives over £20 million per year to tackle disadvantage across the capital.

We support responsible business, inclusive recruiting and sustainable procurement…

… and we run many initiatives to encourage and recognise the social impact of business. (On that note: entries now open for the Dragon Awards for responsible business!)

The point is to embed a culture of effective philanthropy, and to promote London as a global centre for effective giving.

The City of London Corporation is currently redoubling its commitment to philanthropy.

We are in a unique position to support collaborations across business, governments and civil society, in order to tackle some of the most entrenched problems facing our society.

We have recently appointed a Head of Philanthropy to research and develop a strategy to ensure that we align and maximise the value of our network, assets and convening power.

We want to work across sectors to increase the amount and the effectiveness of time, money and talent that we give. And we will be looking at national partnerships, to enable us to learn about how best to empower individuals and communities to flourish…

…not just in London, but throughout the UK.

Our new philanthropic strategy will be built on qualitative and quantitative research into what the financial and professional services sector gives to civil society – and why it gives.

This will help us to recognise opportunities for deeper engagement.

I am confident that here in London we have all the fundamentals in place – the culture and history, the regulation and innovation, the rule of law and the creative energy – to remain the global hub for both business…

… and philanthropy.”



Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884

D: 020 7332 1125