John Nickson

Philanthropist, charity trustee and one of Britain's most experienced fundraisers

Born in 1947,John Nickson was head of fundraising at The British Council, English National Opera, The Royal Academy of Arts and Tate. He was born and brought up in Lancashire and educated in Yorkshire and London, where he read Anthropology at University College. He has been a trustee of several arts, education and development charities and currently sits on the boards of London Music Masters and Opera Rara and is a member of the governing Council of The Royal College of Music. John is a donor, primarily to education and the arts. He practices as an advisor and mentor to charities and their boards. He is also an author. His first book, Giving Is Good For You: Why Britain Should be Bothered and Give More, was published in 2013.

The Inequality Row: Has the Penny Dropped?

Evidence of increasing inequality has been accumulating for 30 years. Taxes were reduced, the financial, property and IT sectors boomed and billionaires appeared. Since then, the number of billionaires based in Britain is reported to have increased tenfold to 104.
30/05/2014 17:06 BST

Britain Is the Billionaire Capital of the World: Good or Bad?

It IS good news that more British people are more prosperous and that the richest people in the world regard Britain as a safe haven and politically stable. The bad news is that growing inequality is approaching pre first world war levels. The richest 10% in Britain own 44% of total national wealth, five times more than the poorest 50% of the population who collectively own 9%.
19/05/2014 17:12 BST

The Arts Empower the Young, So Why Are the Arts in Education Not Available for All?

Michael Gove, Education Secretary, is determined to raise academic standards and few would argue against that. However, schools are under pressure to become autonomous, to set their own curriculums and budgets and to move away from local authority control and there is an argument that this policy together with a greater focus on narrow performance measures and less money is undermining the arts in education.
13/02/2014 14:02 GMT

Culture, or Cancer Research?

The idea that a British Government Minister should think it necessary to make a speech about the importance of culture must astonish Germans. For them, culture is as natural as breathing. The British have also made an exceptional contribution to culture and continue to do so but our reputation for philistinism in high places continues.
06/02/2014 11:58 GMT

Who Will Be Clever Enough to Be Britain's Next Mark Zuckerberg?

We are suffering from a lack of leadership, something the Victorians had in spades. By failing to give significantly, the new rich are failing to set an example and inspire those who will follow them. Government makes noises about encouraging more philanthropy but most politicians follow focus groups rather offer leadership...
15/01/2014 10:34 GMT

A Good Deed in a World of Austerity

Mark Zuckerberg , Facebook's founder, is a billionaire twenty times over and you might think he could spare the odd billion. He clearly agrees but what is significant about this donation is that it is the first time that a philanthropist under the age of 30 has made such an enormous gift...
08/01/2014 16:43 GMT

Dear Boris, You Are Out of Touch.

You now claim that you have been misquoted and agree that there is too much inequality. However, I have read your speech and it is unfortunate that you have expressed yourself in a way that comes over as exactly the opposite.
04/12/2013 13:25 GMT

Will the Buckingham Palace Summit Empower the Young?

The Prince's Trust supports 55,000 unemployed young people a year, 5% of the total, and intends to double the numbers it supports, with turnover increasing to £100 million a year, most of it donated. The Trust's objective is to help them enter the job market or found businesses. Volunteering plays a key role, both for the young and their adult mentors.
27/11/2013 12:24 GMT

New Tate Britain Unveiled at No Cost to the Tax Payer

This week, Tate's original building re-opens after a £45million face-lift. Tate Britain is glamorous once more, a temple of cool and contemplation. Tate was a gift to the public from Henry Tate, a sugar baron. He donated his great collection of British art to the nation as well as £110,000 to pay for a new gallery on condition that the state would look after it.
19/11/2013 15:01 GMT

We Can and Must Do Better Than This: How to Get the Rich to Give More

I intended to write a book to promote giving but the donors I spoke to are so engaged with tackling problems and determined to change life for the better, that they have given us a template for living as well as giving. These are people who are not daunted by difficulty and who demonstrate that it is possible to make a difference.
27/09/2013 16:34 BST

Why a Minority of the Wealthy Disapprove of the Majority

How mean are the rich in Britain? Why should we bothered about what they do with their money, whether or not they pay tax or are philanthropic? Who cares? The answer is surprising for some of the richest people in Britain are furious with their peers who do not give and pay tax.
19/09/2013 17:23 BST