Author Archives: carolinefiennes

Help the homeless — don’t give them spare change

This article first published in the Financial Times.  Support homelessness charities and send your money to where it’s really needed It is the classic Venn diagram: not everybody who is homeless is a beggar, and not everybody who is a … Continue reading

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What is evidence-based philanthropy?

This five-minute video is Caroline’s take on what evidence-based philanthropy is, and how it’s similar to and different from evidence-based medicine. Filmed on a park bench…with Oxford-Cambridge boat race crews practising in the background.

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Breaking the hunger cycle for the price of a bus ticket

Modern philanthropists adopt an evidence-based approach This article first published in the Financial Times. The Christian tradition of giving things up for Lent comes, it is said, from making a virtueof necessity. Last year’s harvest, gathered in the autumn, would … Continue reading

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Why are there so many charities?

This article first published in the Financial Times. Donors encourage smaller organisations — but does that help beneficiaries? There are 165,000 registered charities in England and Wales alone, which people often say is a lot. But is it? Moreover, it … Continue reading

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Don’t spread the love with your Christmas charity giving

This article first published in the Financial Times. One big donation will be more effective than several smaller ones Would you prefer to receive one big present this Christmas, or lots of little ones? Your inner child will tell you … Continue reading

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How we could can impact measurement more useful

This article first published in Civil Society Magazine.  Most of the impact data charities gather does not help raise funds or improve performance This opinion piece is a response to an article titled How do you measure the value of … Continue reading

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What makes philanthropy succeed? – potentially revealing analysis

Remarkably little is known reliably about how to do philanthropy well – how to use it to achieve particular aims – despite philanthropy’s long and varied history. Giving Evidence (and others) is trying to fix this – to create reliable … Continue reading

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When charitable donations cost more than they give

Popularity contests for funding waste time and resources This article first published in the Financial Times. Some charitable donors are a net drain: they cost organisations they seek to help more than they contribute. Others come pretty close, costing nearly … Continue reading

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Creating a sector-wide research agenda: Industrial Farm Animal Production

‘Ask an important question an answer it reliably’ is a central tenet of medical research. Yet  much ‘impact research’ in the charity and social sectors (including monitoring and evaluation’) isn’t like that. Instead, we ask lots of questions, and answer … Continue reading

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What is evidence-based giving and why does it matter?

Interview with Caroline Fiennes, Director of Giving Evidence (16 mins):   This interview was made possible by the Skoll Foundation. It was recorded in Oxford in April 2015, in a single take and with no notice of the questions. More … Continue reading

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