Giving Thought


What makes us give and how do we do it?


What makes people give, how do they do it, and what are the tools available to policymakers and others to drive more and better giving?

In order to boost civil society by building stronger cultures of giving around the world, we need to understand how giving works.

Here we explore what makes giving tick by looking at the available evidence. This includes data about global trends in giving, insight from practice and findings from academic study.

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  • 23 August 2012

    The Star-Spangled Giver: charitable giving in the USA

    This week has seen the launch of a fascinating special report by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, entitled “How America Gives'.  Read our review.
  • 22 August 2011

    Reciprocity and Altruism

    “But what about good old-fashioned altruism?” This is one of the questions that comes to mind when reading some of the policy work coming out of government on the issue of charitable giving.
  • 11th October 2017

    World Giving Index shows Africa is the exception in a less generous world

    Although globally there has been a decrease in generosity since our last report, Africa has bucked this trend as the only continent to see an increase in giving.  
  • 19 November 2015

    Creature Discomfort

    An interesting article caught my eye this week. It was a piece in the Guardian Comment is Free section by the prominent proponent of Effective Altruism (EA), William MacAskill (author of current EA central text “Doing Good Better”) entitled “The truth about animal charities, cats and dogs”.
  • 27 August 2013

    Giving in America

    This week has seen the release of refreshed data and once again features a number of eye-opening statistics.


Block & Tackle | Could blockchain technology transform charity regulation?

Rhodri Davies talks about out report Block & Tackle, in which we consider the possibility of using blockchain technology to create civil society organisations.

CAF at Tech:UK Blockchain for Good Event

Rhodri Davies talks about our work at a Tech:UK event in May 2017

Public Good by Private Means Book Launch

CAF CEO, Sir John Low, introduces Rhodri Davies at the launch of his book, Public Good by Private Means



Donation States: An international comparison of the tax treatment of donations

This report compares the tax treatment of charitable donations in 26 countries around the world. It identifies examples of best practice as well to see how governments can best use tax policy to encourage giving.
This report compares the tax treatment of...

Gross Domestic Philanthropy: An international analysis of GDP, tax and giving

This report looks at available data for 24 countries to examine some of the factors affecting the link between GDP and charitable giving. It finds that the assumption that a smaller state and lower tax means more giving may not be well-founded.
This report looks at available data for 24...

Why the UK should not aspire to a “US-style” culture of charitable giving

The 'Give Me a Break' report calls for a better understanding of what we can learn from America, so that we can incorporate it into a uniquely British culture of philanthropy.
The 'Give Me a Break' report calls for a...


Riding the Tiger of Technological Change

Technology is opening up new opportunities to empower marginalized and disenfranchised communities around the world.

Future World Giving

This project created a policy framework to help governments seize the potential for rapidly growing middle class populations to engage in philanthropy.

Public Good by Private Means

Our book tells the story of philanthropy through the ages, and examines the relationship between philanthropists, the state and society.