Category Archives: Analysing giving

MoneyBox Live: good questions to ask

I’m on BBC Radio 4’s MoneyBox Live today (Weds 13th June, 3pm), answering questions from the public about charitable giving. Do call! (Here’s how.) I’ve suggested some questions you might like to ask – about which charities to back and … Continue reading

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Why I don’t back the Give It Back George campaign

Charities are furious about the government’s proposal to give them less money via the tax system. Well, they would be, wouldn’t they? Hence they’re campaigning frantically to block the proposal. But people interested in effectiveness and impact – and who … Continue reading

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Application and reporting processes keep 3m children out of school

Avoidable waste from foundations’ reporting processes is ~£100m every year, enough to fund the whole of Barnardo’s or the British Red Cross. Another ~£150-250m is wasted in reporting to public sector funders, plus there’s plenty of avoidable waste in application … Continue reading

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Forget business: philanthropy needs to learn from tons of other disciplines

Philanthrocapitalism, social return, social investment, Absolute Return for Kids… Business is the analogy most commonly used for philanthropic activity. Though that’s not wrong, it’s dangerously narrow for solving what Warren Buffett calls ‘problems which have already resisted great intellects and … Continue reading

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Didn’t we have a lovely time the day we went to prison?

Inspiration inside I’d have felt more at home on the moon. I mean, nothing says ‘welcome’ like a fifteen foot wall topped by razor wire. And yet, my trip to HMP Pentonville was surprisingly inspirational.  I was there just before … Continue reading

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Kate Middleton’s charities: a curious but quite good set for a beginner

The Duchess Formerly Known as Kate Middleton announced today her first four charity affiliations. It’s a quirky set. If she’s clever, Kate (if we’re still allowed to call her that) can add a load more value to them. The overriding … Continue reading

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Giving a goat (or similar) this Christmas? Get an extra half a goat for free

Oxfam Unwrapped is a kind of gift catalogue from which you can ‘buy a goat’ or various other items as a gift. A goat costs £25: you give Oxfam £25, which it uses to provide a goat to somebody in … Continue reading

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How should advice on charitable giving be priced?

Answer: In a way that aligns the advisor’s incentives with those of the beneficiary. But which way does that? Along with many others, I’m often asked to advise donors about finding good charities to support and/or strategies to make their … Continue reading

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How do you know if your charity is making any difference? Take control

Charities need to understand which parts of their activities are working and which aren’t. But to really understand the charity’s impact, we need to know not only what did happen, but what would have happened without the charity’s work. Imagine … Continue reading

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Who’s the most generous nation on Earth?

It’s not the US! According to The Economist, the rankings contain a few surprises: Australia               57%   New Zealand        57% Canada                  56% … Continue reading

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