Mapping the existing evidence about preventing child abuse in institutions

We are producing a map of the existing evidence about child abuse within organisations

New project! Giving Evidence is working to produce a map of the existing evidence (and gaps in it) about what is effective at reducing child abuse – particularly child sexual abuse – within organisations, such as youth clubs, sports clubs, churches etc. We’ll be working on it with the Centre for Evidence and Implementation, and Professor Aron Shlonsky of the University of Melbourne, who have undertaken considerable research around this topic. Continue reading

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The Big Money Questions

Wide-ranging chat about charitable giving, with the Daily Mail.

What to give to, what to avoid, one of Caroline’s favourite charities, how to choose a charity… (~20 minutes) Please click on the picture below to watch the full video.

big money

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Charities and donors: What would you like more research about?

Giving  Evidence and think-tank Charity Futures break new ground in researching what matters to charities and donors

Survey here! Pls take ten minutes to tell us what you would like to know!

Charity Futures, the new sector think tank led by Sir Stephen Bubb, is running a major consultation to find out the topics on which donors and charity leaders most want more research to help them in their vital work.  Clearly this is essential for ensuring that charitable activity and giving can be based on sound evidence.

Giving Evidence is running the consultation, which invites input from any charity, foundation, public or private donor in the United Kingdom. Through an open ‘crowd-sourcing’ process, including a series of focus groups across the country (which finished in June 2018) and a couple of rounds of public, open, online survey, the project invites charities, private donors and institutional funders to say where more research would be of most use. The project is supported by a distinguished advisory group of funders, private donors, researchers, charity leaders and umbrella bodies (listed below). Continue reading

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Donors left empty-handed on charity data questions

How can you tell if a charity is effective, when there is little independent analysis?

This article first published in the Financial Times

Judging by my inbox, there seems to be huge demand for advice about which charities to support. As donors have followed the turmoil around Oxfam, Save the Children, Kids Company and others before them, they want decent independent analysis along the lines of the data that rating agencies provide for bonds or Which? does for fridges.

There isn’t any.

It doesn’t exist, because of costs, incentives and the genuine challenges involved in nailing it down. Continue reading

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How to make an evidence-based intervention

VIDEO: Watch Caroline’s new lesson with the Fitzroy Academy!

https://fitzroyacademy.com/lesson/evidence-based-interventions?playlist=social-impact#-QITpDwHX4A

Full lesson here.

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Give one charity donation, get one free

Making a big gift to draw other donors is only useful if the charity is highly effective

This article first published in the Financial Times

The practice of donors offering to “match” gifts made to charities they support has become common in the charity world. In the run-up to Christmas, many have been offering to double donations. In the recent Challenge Campaign, for instance, money given to selected charities was doubled by the Big Give, set up by Sir Alec Reed, founder of Reed, the recruitment firm.

Others schemes propose different deals: one donor was offering to give $2 for every $1 given on Friday to Charity Navigator, a charity rating agency; while PayPal will add 1 per cent to all donations made through its platform until New Year.

The UK’s Department for International Development does it too. Its UK Aid Match offered up to £5m from the UK aid budget to eight charities.

The theory is that the match attracts new donations. If your aim is helping your chosen charity to raise money, is it a good idea to offer to match other people’s contributions? The rigorous evidence suggests that it is.  Continue reading

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What the Skoll Global Threats Fund learnt with its $100 million

This article first published in Alliance Magazine.

The first president of eBay, Jeff Skoll, set up his Global Threats Fund in 2010 to ‘make hundredmillioncamper progress against five of the gravest threats to humanity’: climate change, pandemics, water security, nuclear proliferation, and conflict in the Middle East. It closes this month having spent its $100 million, and this week published a report about “what worked, what didn’t work, and what we learned about philanthropy’s role in reducing global threats”. As more foundations ‘spend out’ and publish their learning, we will probably see more such documents. This one is a weird read. Continue reading

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Giving suggestions for this Christmas

If you, like millions of people, want to give this Christmas / holiday season, the following are all good bets, in our view:

Medicins Sans Frontieres: They always seem to be to be where the sh*t is worst, e.g., Yemen, Rakhine province in Myanmar (where the Rohinga live/lived). We’ve never formally analysed them but all our contact with them and literature we’ve seen from them implies that they have their act together. Continue reading

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Try not to judge a charity by its admin costs alone

Producing the kind of data donors would like is hard and expensive, but not impossible

This article first published in the Financial Times.

We kept overheads low, boasts Camila Batmanghelidjh in her book published last week  about how and why Kids Company, the charity she founded, collapsed in 2015.

Perhaps skimping on administrative costs was a false economy. In the book she also says the charity kept paper records for the 36,000 children and young adults it claimed to support, which were “stored in 80 cabinets”. It hardly sounds ideal. Continue reading

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How to fund in education

This article first published in the Financial Times.

Malala Yousafzai starts at Oxford university next week. The Nobel Peace Prize, which she shared at the age of 17, was for her work promoting the right of all children to education. Many people give money in pursuit of that aim, so it’s reasonable to ask what we know about improving education, particularly in less developed countries.

The answer is surprisingly little. Rigorous evidence about both primary and secondary education is rather sparse, though primary education is better studied. Very few programmes have been tested often enough, and in enough places, to give confidence about their effectiveness. Continue reading

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