Category Archives: Impact & evaluation

Why I’ve joined a board of the Flemish Red Cross

I know. You’ve never heard of the Flemish Red Cross. You realise that such a thing probably must exist but you’d never hitherto realised it, right? Well, you should know about it because it’s amazing. Of all the operational charities … Continue reading

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Evidence-based philanthropy made easy

This talk explains what evidence-based giving is, why it matters, and how it needn’t be soooo complicated. Even the first 30 seconds here show why minimising administrative costs to keep an aid programme ‘cheap’ is a bad idea. This talk … Continue reading

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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 in March 2017. The Christian tradition of giving things up for Lent comes, it is said, from making a virtueof necessity. Last year’s harvest, gathered in … Continue reading

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How impact measurement can be 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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When charitable donations cost more than they give

Popularity contests for funding waste time and resources This article first published in the Financial Times in November 2016.  Some charitable donors are a net drain: they cost organisations they seek to help more than they contribute. Others come pretty … 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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What would have happened otherwise?

First published in the Financial Times in August 2016. Did the charity make it happen, or would it have happened anyway? The purpose of a charity’s work — and your support for it — is to create a benefit beyond what … 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 in April 2016 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 … 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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