Tag Archives: effectiveness

Why I don’t back the Give It Back George campaign

Charities are furious about the government’s proposal to give them less money via the tax system. Well, they would be, wouldn’t they? Hence they’re campaigning frantically to block the proposal. But people interested in effectiveness and impact – and who … Continue reading

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Understanding impact. What would have happened anyway?

Article first published by the Society of Impact Assessment Analysts In understanding a charity’s impact, we seek to identify the difference which the charity has made in the world. That is, what has happened which would not otherwise have happened. … Continue reading

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Goldman Sachs doesn’t (appear to) understand stats. Who are the muppets now?

This article first appeared in Third Sector magazine.  The legendary investment bank Goldman Sachs was described by Rolling Stone magazine two years ago as being “like a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity”; and a former executive who resigned … Continue reading

Posted in Corporate philanthropy, Impact & evaluation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A grand unified theory of effective giving starts with beneficiaries

This article first appeared in Alliance Magazine. ‘What do you think of our team?’ asked the chairman of a new foundation. I hesitated, fearing he would dislike my answer. The trustees were experts in only two of their three focus … Continue reading

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Three golden rules of effective charitable giving

This article first appeared in The Ecologist. Many of us support charities which work on some of the biggest environmental issues of our time. But which are the good ones, and how can we really help? Caroline Fiennes, author of … Continue reading

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No money? Here’s how you can still make a difference to charity in a recession

This article first appeared in the Daily Mail Online. In a recession, more people turn to charities for support, precisely when donations are harder for charities to find. But there are tricks we can all use to make our donations … Continue reading

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Application and reporting processes keep 3m children out of school

Avoidable waste from foundations’ reporting processes is ~£100m every year, enough to fund the whole of Barnardo’s or the British Red Cross. Another ~£150-250m is wasted in reporting to public sector funders, plus there’s plenty of avoidable waste in application … Continue reading

Posted in Admin costs, Effective giving, Impact & evaluation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

WaterAid: what are you thinking of?

Millions of Thames Water customers have this week received leaflets from WaterAid containing this: WaterAid should know better. This graph perpetuates the dangerous lie that charities’ spending on governance and fundraising is somehow separate from ‘work on charitable objectives’. They’re not: … Continue reading

Posted in Admin costs, Great charities | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

The popular fetish of the small

The Economist this week has an article and data showing the folly of the popular affection for small companies. It shows that productivity* per employee is markedly higher in large companies than small ones for two reasons: employees in large … Continue reading

Posted in Effective giving, Impact & evaluation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

What if etiquette and impact collide?

Perhaps it’s an occupational hazard. A friend or acquaintance asks for some advice or help with their charity. I’d like to help that friend… but the work or structure of the charity raises the alarm in my head. On one … Continue reading

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