Category Archives: Effective giving

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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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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What makes a helpful reporting & evaluation system? Learning from an outlier

Funders’ reporting and evaluation systems are rarely loved: they are more often regarded as compliance or ‘policing’. But not so for the Inter-American Foundation apparently: IAF received better feedback from its grantees on its reporting and evaluation system than have … Continue reading

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The Magic Impact Fairy will ensure that your research really changes something

Many charities’ theory of change is: ‘here’s that document you didn’t ask for’ I want to introduce you to someone: the Magic Impact Fairy. Her job is to take all the research that people do and the reports they write, … Continue reading

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