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A tribute to the pro bono input of WCoMC - The Bread Tin

Young and affluent city workers gather on HMS President to represent the next generation of socially-minded philanthropists

Recently an event took place on HMS President. If you had walked by, it would have looked as most events do.  Of the 150 guests most were young and affluent city workers. Any passer-by would not have seen that this event was in fact a celebration and catalyst of something radically new starting amongst the next generation of socially minded financiers, lawyers and city workers.

The event was hosted by The Bread Tin (in collaboration with the Philanthropy Club), a new charity that over the last 5 years has quietly been working with the future leaders of industry, society and finance. The concept is simple enough but it’s vision is radical.

On board the HMS President guests heard stories of  previous groups , one of which had funded a safe house in Romania for trafficked women They learnt that by joining with a small group of peers from across their office or across the city, and putting in some of their earned income The Bread Tin would enable them to maximize a gift to the charity of their choice and help them give away £20,000.

 The Bread Tin brings together experienced philanthropists to engage with a generation of ambitious, passionate, and socially conscious young professionals who have arrived in the City for their first taste of their future careers and want to do something with it. Established in 2010 The Bread Tin has worked to put together a group of 8-10 graduates from all areas of industry in London and set them the task of discussing, finding and giving to a charity that excites them as a group.  Each group has an experienced mentor to guide them through this process.

Membership of each group varies from Lawyers, finance experts,  bankers, PR, IT and HR, to a cross party group of young parliamentarians and staff of MPs. The Bread Tin has, in 5 years, enabled over £133,000 to be given to charity; half of this is from new philanthropists who had never given seriously to charity before, but our research suggests will now continue to do so.

The HMS President event gave hope to both experienced philanthropists and graduates alike about the future of giving in the UK and specifically in London.

The Bread Tin has found that all too often those who have been giving for a long time do not see a new generation of generous givers coming after them. The very individuals philanthropists are looking for, often feel daunted by the amount needed to be given before any noticeable change is felt. The Bread Tin’s aim is to bring both these two together by training up the next generation of givers whilst inspiring all those around them that no matter how much is given, change is made. It is an enjoyable experience to give as a group and far less daunting to know that you have not just one, but 8-10 minds figuring out how to make the most of your money.

The Bread Tin is about changing lives and inculcating a new set of moral and ethical guide lines. It is a life changing experience that lasts a life time.

Had you known what was happening on board HMS President that night when you had walked by, a feeling of hope for the future, of socially conscious and generous young professionals which radiated the room, you too would have been drawn in.

[The writer is Jo Colman, Member of Group 3 and Trustee of The Bread Tin]

Its Founder and Director, Peter West, comments on the international hold this Charity has now established….

WCoMC members John McLean Fox,  Dennis Ciborowski, and Karol Szlichcinski  established and carried out a pro bono project named The Bread Tin.  Its Founder and Director, Peter West, comments on the international hold this Charity has now established….


I am writing to extend my sincere thanks for all your help some years ago to get The Bread Tin established.  Each of you played a vital role.

We are now up to 10 groups. We have not found a 'route to market' but we are getting there. We have refined the model and developed a very good survey so we can measure our success and impact.

We are also working in Partnership with Orange Digital, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orange/EE phones. They have developed an App for us - On-line digital Philanthropy. Watch this space with a possible national launch this Autumn. (This will be our route to market)

We have been invited to set up Bread Tin groups in Russia, Holland, India and Iraq. Wealthy, high earning young professionals based in London who want to fund projects in their home countries based on Bread Tin principles. Our aim is for them to take the philanthropic values back to their various home communities.

We have also been invited to go to the USA. It would appear they do not have a Bread Tin model over there?  We shall see. If we go they will have to fund the trip.

So gentlemen, from such small beginnings at that meeting in Holborn with John McLean-Fox and Richard Finn ....... who would guess where this may take us.

London has a wonderful heritage of generosity which we are exporting.

Thank you for your support and inspiration."

Peter A West 

The Bread Tin, Giving Works and Trusts in Partnership


Observations from Karol Szlichcinski, who helped The Bread Tin develop its strategy

Peter West is the Founder and Director of The Bread Tin - a charity that introduces young City professionals to philanthropy by supporting them in setting up their own charity projects and matching them with wealthy donors who provide additional capital.  The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants has been heavily involved with The Bread Tin.  John McLean Fox contributed to the birth of the idea, Dennis Ciborowski, as a member of the Pro Bono Committee, set up a pro bono project, and I myself, Karol Szlichcinski,  carried out the project, which was to help The Bread Tin to develop a Strategic Plan and decide on an appropriate structure for their organisation.

The concept is an interesting one.  The Bread Tin puts together groups of about 8 young City professionals, who provide both money and time to set up their own charity project.  The organisation matches them with a more experienced mentor and a wealthy (older) donor who provides additional funds.  The idea is that they develop an interest and skills in philanthropy work which they can apply subsequently in other projects on their own initiative.  The project cycle takes 1 - 2 years, and then group members may go on to mentor new groups.  From the start the focus has been international, in terms of group members and also their charity interests.  When I worked with The Bread Tin, their first group was setting up an operation to work with unemployed young people in Bosnia.  

Liveryman Karol Szlichcinski