Tag Archives: giving

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

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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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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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Should You Donate to Sport Relief?

This article first appeared in Huffington Post This weekend, Sport Relief is running masses of activities this weekend to raise money for charity. But not all charities are the same. So is Sport Relief a good one?  Yes. Before we get into … Continue reading

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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

It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It

It Ain’t What You Give, It’s The Way That You Give It: launches March 27th 2012 ‘The Freakonomics of the charity world – but with better cartoons’ – Martin Houghton-Brown, Chief Executive, Missing People ‘Great advice: inspiring, entertaining and much-needed’ – James … Continue reading

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Government fund scores new low for charitable funding

Forty three failures for every success. Is the government’s Social Action Fund – which ostensibly helps charities – trying to challenge the National Lottery for startling low probabilities? It would be funny if only it weren’t tragic and irresponsible. And … Continue reading

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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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Forget business: philanthropy needs to learn from tons of other disciplines

Philanthrocapitalism, social return, social investment, Absolute Return for Kids… Business is the analogy most commonly used for philanthropic activity. Though that’s not wrong, it’s dangerously narrow for solving what Warren Buffett calls ‘problems which have already resisted great intellects and great … Continue reading

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How should advice on charitable giving be priced?

Answer: In a way that aligns the advisor’s incentives with those of the beneficiary. But which way does that? Along with many others, I’m often asked to advise donors about finding good charities to support and/or strategies to make their … Continue reading

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