Tag Archives: impact

Lessons during the decade since the Asian tsunami

This article first appeared in Third Sector.  It’s 10 years this December since the Indian Ocean Boxing Day tsunami. We salute those who died, those who mourn, those who tended; and we celebrate those who’ve since sought to improve response … Continue reading

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Are we relying on unreliable research?

“Ask an important question and answer it reliably” is a fundamental tenet of clinical research. And you’d hope so: you’d hope that medics don’t waste time on questions that don’t matter or which have been answered already, and you’d hope … Continue reading

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Assessing impact needs a reliable comparison group

This letter discusses an article in Stanford Social Innovation Review and was first published there. “Dressed to Thrive” [in Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter, 2013] describes the work of Fitted For Work (FFW) in helping women into work. By way … Continue reading

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It’s hard to make evidence-driven decisions if loads of data are missing, or garbage

First, missing data. Philanthropic donors, operational charities and others often have to deal with this. Hence unearthing the missing data is a theme in Giving Evidence’s work:  Massive emergency aid is now flowing to the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan. Operational … Continue reading

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Why ‘What’s Our Impact?’ is the Wrong Question

This article was first published by the Skoll World Forum and the Society of Impact Assessment Analysts Since there are so many ways that charities and funders can use their finite resources, they must make choices: choices between competing goals (reduce … Continue reading

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Why I’m delighted to join the advisory panel of Charity Navigator

Charity Navigator is the world’s largest charity ‘ratings agency’, providing online ratings of 6,000 US-based charities which are used by over 3million donors each year. It’s also the sole organisation slagged off in my book about how donors can best … Continue reading

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Development Controversies Are A Sign of Sophistication

This article, written with Professor Dean Karlan of Yale University, appeared in Stanford Social Innovation Review. Public debate about two prominent poverty-alleviation programs shows that over the past 15 years international development has become much more scientific. The international development … Continue reading

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Faster, higher, stronger: Olympic lessons for philanthropy

This article first appeared in Alliance Magazine. Coming from ancient Greece, even the word ‘philanthropy’ hints at similarities with the Olympic Games. And there is much which philanthropists, donors, charities and those of us who support and guide them can … Continue reading

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How foundations discourage charity mergers

This article first appeared in Third Sector magazine. Esmee Fairbairn Foundation (a large UK grant-making foundation) has launched a fund to encourage mergers. It’s ironic, because Esmee’s own rules penalise them Fairness, presumably, is behind the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation’s rule that it … Continue reading

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The giving tax: what do we actually know?

In the current row about charities and tax, it’s worth being clear about what is known and what isn’t. Here’s the relevant evidence we’ve encountered. Income Total income of UK charities £37bn Source:NCVO Almanac Income of UK charities from individuals … Continue reading

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