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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  • 28 May 2013 

    Nudging the nation

    Over recent months the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) has been working with the Cabinet Office’s behaviour insights team to investigate the potential impact that the usage of ‘nudge’ theory could have on the charity sector.
  • 27 February 2014 

    Waking from the American dream

    There are significant differences in terms of attitudes to the role of government and towards private wealth between the US and the UK.
  • 27 February 2014 

    Further thoughts on US vs UK giving

    Should we celebrate the activities and achievements of wealthy philanthropists more readily in the UK than we do currently?
  • 13 September 2013 

    Zero-sum giving: Will an incentive for social investment affect charitable donations?

    In amongst a slew of other things that needed doing over the summer, I found time over the last month or so to work with the social investment experts at CAF Venturesome to craft a response to the Government’s consultation on a new social investment tax incentive.
  • 11 December 2013 

    Lessons from Panorama: Should charities invest ethically?

    BBC Panorama this week took aim at charities in an episode entitled "All in a good cause". There had been quite a bit of controversy in the run up to the programme being aired, as one of its targets was Comic Relief, the charity with which the BBC has a longstanding funding relationship.
  • 10 April 2014 

    Not a measured approach?

    Does the Hewlett Foundation’s decision indicate the failure of impact-measuring approaches to philanthropy?
  • 7 May 2014 

    Doing well and doing good: can charities be social investors?

    The Law Commission last week put out a consultation on "Social Investment by chariteis". Having now read through the document I thought it was worth a quick blog post to highlight why I think this consultation is important and what it means for charities.


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Place-based giving

We believe the time is now to look again at philanthropy, not only as a route to financial investment, but also as a way of reconnecting people with places and spaces.

Visit our place-based giving hub
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Bringing diverse communities together; podcast

We talk to Jim MInton of Toynbee Hall, based in London's East End, about the the role of local civil society organisations.

Listen to the podcast

CAF at Tech:UK Blockchain for Good Event May 2018

Rhodri Davies talks about the speed of technological change and how tech will benefit, and challenge, charity.



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.

Giving in a World Without Work?

Rhodri Davies, Policy Manager, explores automation, Universal Basic Income and the future of philanthropy,

Public Good by Private Means

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