Author Archives: carolinefiennes

Getting evidence to influence public policy

How to get research to influence policy Continue reading

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The curious relationship between the number of staff and number of trustees in foundations

UK charities, including foundations, are unusual organisations in that it is pretty common to have more trustees than staff. The trustees are non-executive directors, they are almost invariably unpaid, and collectively comprise the board. It is rare in businesses and … Continue reading

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Having Too Few Personnel Compromises Foundations’ Performance on Key Issues

A clear finding from the Foundation Practice Rating Year One research – which assessed 100 UK-based charitable grant-making foundations – is that foundations with few trustees, or few staff, tend to perform poorly on diversity, accountability and transparency. This matters … Continue reading

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One donor’s fantastic work to encourage use of evidence, and production of more, to fight factory farming

This article appeared in Alliance Magazine’s special edition about food systems. It shows a powerful approach to using and producing evidence which donors could use an any sector. Moving to a sustainable and fair food system is a giant challenge, … Continue reading

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Reducing the Administrative Burden Placed on UK Charities by UK Donors and Funders

Giving Evidence is delighted to be studying funders’ application processes – to try to figure out how to reduce the costs that funders create for operational nonprofits. This is a hugely important topic, so we have written about it publicly, … Continue reading

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Letter in The Economist about anti-malarial bednets

Giving Evidence’s Director, Caroline Fiennes, has a letter in The Economist this week. Giving Evidence’s existence is about directing philanthropic resources to effective & cost-effective work. So we were horrified by a letter in The Economist two weeks ago which … Continue reading

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Rating UK foundations on their transparency, accountability and diversity

UK charitable foundation staff and trustees are very white and very male. They’re also often senior in years, and pretty posh. None of those characteristics is necessarily a problem of itself, but (a) the homogeneity creates risk of lacking diversity … Continue reading

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Why most ratings of charities are useless: the available information isn’t important and the important information isn’t available

A Which? Magazine-type reliable rating of a wide range of charities would indeed be helpful. Unfortunately it’s currently impossible. Most months, somebody contacts me saying that they’re setting up some website / app to rate loads of charities – to … Continue reading

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Webinar: intro to evidence, and the evidence about child abuse

This webinar, given with the Campbell Collaboration and Porticus, is a great introduction to rigorous evidence in general, and specifically the rigorous evidence around ‘what works’ in institutional responses to child abuse. It is part of our work on that … Continue reading

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Many (many!) charities are too small to measure their own impact

Most charities should not evaluate their own impact. Funders should stop asking them to evaluate themselves. For one thing, asking somebody to mark their own homework was never likely to be a good idea. This article explains the four very … Continue reading

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