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.
  • Digital thumprint 275px
    21 July 2017

    Knowing Me, Knowing You: Self-sovereign digital identity and the future of charity

    A fundamental shift in the way that online identity works may be coming. What impact could this have for the work of charities and their relationships with their supporters?
    Find out how identity is changing
  • Artifical intelligence (275)
    02 June 2017

    Robotic Alms: Is Artificial Intelligence the future of philanthropy advice?

    Could recent developments in AI technology transform the nature of philanthropy advice and make it far more widely accessible at the same time?
    Find out what future philanthropy might look like
  • cyborg (275 px)
    02 June 2017

    5 ways AI is already having an impact on charity

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a potentially transformative technology. It is yet to reach its potential in the charity world, but is alreay starting to have an impact in a number of ways.
    Find out how AI is having an impact
  • Decentralised (275)
    9 May 2017

    The Decentralisation of Good: Blockchain, DAOs and the future of charity

    What could decentralisation through technologies such as blockchain mean for the future of philanthropy and the way charitable organisations operate?

    Find out what the future might hold
  • Tech problem blog summary image
    20 April 2017

    Future Imperfect: 10 new problems that technology will create and charities will have to deal with

    We hear a lot about how technology is going to change society for the better. But will it also create new problems that charities will have to address?
    Find out what these future challenges might be


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.


The Giving Thought Podcast

A bi-weekly exploration of trends in global philanthropy and civil society

Visit our podcast library

Public Good by Private Means Book Launch

CAF’s CEO, Dr John Low CBE, 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...

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

The 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 report calls for a better understanding...


What do the tech trends for 2017 mean for philanthropy?

The implications of various tech developments for philanthropy are explored by Rhodri Davies, Policy Manager.

Future World Giving

If governments act now the future of philanthropy could be bright, with people all over the world engaging in supporting a vibrant civil society and addressing social needs.

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.