Category Archives: Donor behaviour & giving stats

Donating $100m is like donating anything else

So, $100m is a sizeable donation. And one charity is in line to scoop the lot. The  John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation, a $6.5bn foundation based in Chicago, is looking for “a single proposal that promises real and … 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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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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How to give it: Why charity should begin in the science lab

This article first published in the Financial Times. Not all charities are good causes. This may sound surprising, because we’re used to thinking of them all as being somehow virtuous, but they vary in their effectiveness. Smart donors know that … Continue reading

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Oops: we made the non-profit impact revolution go wrong

By Caroline Fiennes and Ken Berger, managing director of Algorhythm.  The non-profit ‘impact revolution’ – over a decade’s work to increase the impact of non-profits – has gone in the wrong direction. As veterans and cheerleaders of the revolution, we are both … Continue reading

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Making charity & philanthropy more evidence-based

Giving Evidence’s purpose is improving the effectiveness of charitable giving and charitable work by improving the quality of evidence on which they are based. The changes that we need are very analogous to changes which happened in medicine, in terms of … Continue reading

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How come this foundation’s grantees love its reporting process so much?

Most charities hate the reporting which funders make them do. Notionally a learning process, it’s often just compliance, box-ticking and a dead-weight cost. But not so apparently for the Inter-American Foundation, an independent US government agency which grant-funds citizen-led community … Continue reading

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Donors don’t care much about impact! (say the data)

This article first published in Third Sector. There has been a huge rise in interest recently in the impact charities have, so it’s remarkable that only now are we seeing rigorous evidence emerging about whether donors actually care. It’s a … Continue reading

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How do you make people give more? Research in the US has some surprising messages

In the US, individual charitable giving is much vaunted, but it’s flat. Once you adjust for inflation, it’s been between 2 per cent and 2.2 per cent of income for more than 30 years. Identifying how to increase giving is … Continue reading

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Easy ways for philanthropic donors to see if they’re doing well

This article was first  published by the Social Impact Analysts Association. Some skiers are better than others. Some singers are better than others. The same for teaching, nursing and curling. So it seems reasonable to suppose that some people are … Continue reading

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