About

Enabling giving, based on sound evidence

Giving Evidence works to get charitable giving based on evidence. It was founded by Caroline Fiennes, an acclaimed author and former award-winning charity CEO with over 10 years experience advising donors and charities. We work on improving the ‘system’ across charities and philanthropy, and advising donors and foundations on an individual basis.

Caroline Fiennes is a great source of advice about charitable giving. She’s helped Eurostar become effective very rapidly” – Eurostar CEO Richard Brown

Caroline Fiennes

Our campaigning aims to improve the amount of evidence about charities’ effectiveness which is published (as opposed to unavailable), robust, findable, and clear. We work on those four areas. We’re doing ground-breaking work looking at non-publication of charities’ research; we’re working with a foundation to assess and improve the quality of research by charities they fund; and we’re working to make research by charities in criminal justice more findable and clearer.  

We take many lessons from the way that evidence is produced and organised in medicine.

We are working to research (i.e., generate evidence on) what donor practices are most effective, and how to get donors to do them. This is with the University of Chicago.

We raise donors’ awareness of the importance of good evidence e.g, by writing and speaking in the press and at events. Caroline  has contributed to Freakonomics, the FT, Forbes, Money Week, The Economist, BBC Radio 4,  BBC Radio 5Live, Alliance Magazine, The Guardian, Stanford Social Innovation Review, the Daily Mail, Huffington Post and the charity sector press. (See here) She speaks at many conferences and events, e.g., Skoll World Forum, the Community Foundations of Canada, the Social Impact Analysts Association, Association of Charitable Foundations and Arab Foundations Forum. (Events listed here.)

Giving Evidence changes the debate about evidence of charities’ effectiveness. We produced the first data that charities’ admin costs don’t indicate their effectiveness, and analysis showing the evaluation of the first social impact bond won’t show whether it’s worked.  

This outlines our campaigning work:

Our consulting provides donors with independent advice on strategies for giving money, giving time, the best charities for them to support, the best ways to organise that support and to understand their impact. We help donors and charities to create processes which use evidence in decisions, to understand their own effectiveness, to identify where to improve, to identify how best to intervene, to make their organisation cultures more orientated around evidence, to collect evidence e.g., from employees and beneficiaries.

Clients include the Institute for Government, Cambridge University, the Guardian’s giving programme, a large international family foundation, a small new family foundation, Eurostar, the Institute of Family Business, the Association of Tennis Professionals (the men’s professional body).

Caroline Fiennes provided excellent advice to the ERM Foundation when we were setting up our Low Carbon Enterprise Fund – a social impact programme. She has a strong understanding of philanthropy and how it is best done in a corporate context. She enabled us to see and understand a number of issues that we might otherwise have missed” – Robin Bidwell, ERM Founding President

More information about Giving Evidence’s services for donors and recent client engagements is here. This 90 second video outlines how we help donors:

The Team

Caroline Fiennes founded and directs Giving Evidence.  She is one of the few people whose work has appeared in both OK! Magazine and The Lancet. She is on boards of the US Center for Effective Philanthropy, of the world’s largest charity rating agency Charity Navigator, The Cochrane Collaboration (specifically Evidence Aid ), She is the Corporation of London’s City Philanthropy Coach, and writes a monthly column in Third Sector magazine.

Caroline was named a Philanthropy Advisor of the Year in 2014 by Spears Wealth Management.

More information about Caroline Fiennes is at www.carolinefiennes.com/about and she is on http://www.twitter.com/carolinefiennes

Dr. Leonora Buckland has worked for a variety of organisations and projects in social entrepreneurship, social investment and philanthropy and has a hybrid background in the private, public and social sectors.  She has been a consultant for the Skoll Foundation and Executive Director of the Venture Partnership Foundation. She co-designed the London Business School social entrepreneurship course with Professor Michael Hay and has written articles for the Stanford Social Innovation Review on microfinance and European venture philanthropy. Most recently she was author of a report on European banks and social and impact investment. She started her career as a strategy consultant at Monitor Company and followed this by working for the civil service at the Social Exclusion Unit before becoming involved in the social sector. She has a 1st class degree from Oxford University, a Masters in International Economics from SAIS, Johns Hopkins University and a PhD from Oxford University.

Diego Escobar is Honorary Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Education’s EPPI-Centre, where he is involved in conducting systematic reviews. Previous work in the University of Guadalajara, the Ministry of Culture of Jalisco and as an independent evaluator for national and sub-national government agencies in Mexico has been both research and practice orientated, focusing on institutional development for accountability and effectiveness in the areas of social development and the arts. He has a master’s degree in Philosophy and Public Policy from the London School of Economics.

Contact. To book Caroline to speak, or for advice about your giving, contact admin [at] giving-evidence [dot] com

5 Responses to About

  1. Pingback: Charitable Giving: Why Fewer Is More

  2. Pingback: SSIR says nonprofits shouldn't self-evaluate. They're wrong. | Nonprofit consulting services | Next in Nonprofits

  3. Pingback: MPs should donate their payrise if they really don’t want it | Caroline Fiennes @carolinefiennes

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