It's not just footballers whose first philanthropic instinct is to set up a trust or foundation in their own name. This is the legal structure of choice for many people to fulfil their good intentions and give something back.
One way that the potential pitfalls of ongoing governance and accountability can be avoided is instead by setting up a named fund with a community foundation. This is what footballer Jamie Carragher has done in Merseyside and is an increasingly popular way to quickly and cost-effectively start making a real difference.
Donors can then make use of their CF's extensive local knowledge of existing charities carrying out the work they care about. It's a win-win solution - rather than an own goal...
Even the richest footballer would be annoyed if his latest high-performance sports car broke down after six months. Yet why do we so often hear about their charitable foundations going the same way? The evidence is clear that what some of these foundations gain in media exposure is more than offset by what they lose in sustainability, transparency and accountability. If they want to actually make a difference, footballers shouldn’t assume their star status is enough. They need to work with the charity sector. To make a real difference, we need more high-profile athletes supporting the most productive and sustainable charities. That really would be using their name for good.