Business people should have to prove that they have given significant sums to charity in order to qualify to be considered for honours, according to a business group which has been asked by ministers for ideas on increasing charity donations.
It would mean that honours such as OBEs and knighthoods for senior business figures would become directly dependent on individual charity giving.
The proposal is that business men and women would have to give time or money to charity consistently to be considered for honours, and their nominations would have to be backed by a letter from a senior person in the charity concerned, such as the chief executive.
At the moment there's no requirement to show a record of personal donations, although in some cases the company's track record of giving is used to try to justify receiving an honour.
The business group behind the idea, called Legacy 10, was asked by ministers for recommendations to encourage people to give to charity in their wills - and they've already persuaded prominent business figures including Richard Branson and Charles Dunstone, the Vodafone founder, to pledge support.
The hope is that if entrepreneurs and industrialists are prompted to give regularly, they'll be more likely to make legacies to charity as well.