Netherlands-based ABN AMRO MeesPierson, part of ABN AMRO Private Banking, has launched a new philanthropy advice service for its clients.

Many HNWIs find it difficult to understand the workings of the philanthropic sector, according to the bank’s recently published annual survey of the Netherlands charity sector.

To set up the service, ABN AMRO has teamed up with Kennisbank Filantropie (Philanthropy Knowledge Bank), using the charity data bank to provide independent advice, and charging clients a "pay what you want" fee for it.

The bank said it will donate 25% of the income it earns from the advice service to projects promoting philanthropy.

Advice in setting up foundations and trusts

The team, which the bank said has been specially trained to be philanthropy experts, will offer ABN AMRO’s 25,000 strong client base advice in identifying social and cultural recipients for their donations. Help will also be given in setting up a foundation or named trust fund as well as provide tax guidance.

According to a report by ABN AMRO, two-thirds of the Dutch population donates money to good causes occasionally or regularly, with private individuals the front runners.

The report, published in September 2012, found that in 2009, a total of €4.7bn was given to charity, with the average family donating around €210.

Diana van Maasdijk, head of philanthropy advice at ABN AMRO MeesPierson, said, "More and more people are giving to charity during their lifetimes and not necessarily leaving all their money to their children. These people want to donate to a charity, with which they feel a real affinity … [and so,] we’ll offer these clients independent, tailored advice."