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Giving Thought


Understanding and reimagining civil society and how we support it.


Giving Thought is our think tank. It’s where we consider the key challenges facing civil society globally, explore how and why people give and companies give, and test radical new ideas that could shape the future of charity.

We provide insight and stimulate debate that leads to changes in policy and practice which foster healthier civil society around the world. We explore trends in giving and how developments in society and technology will open up new opportunities for doing good.

The role of funders in forging a new social contract between civil society and big tech.

8 October 2019

"The impact of tech is changing the nature of people’s needs and if charities don’t understand that change then the danger is they will fail to be relevant in a few year’s time."

Cassie Robinson of National Lottery Community Fund interviews Rhodri Davies, CAF's Head of Policy, with other experts as part of a series about civil society, technology, and a new social contract.  Read the full article here.

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Why Civil Society Matters

Advocacy, rights, governance, independence, trust, campaigning. How do we strengthen the vital role of civil society within democracy?

Why does civil society matter?
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Creating a Future of Doing Good

Artificial Intelligence, PhilTech, Blockchain, Algorithms, Internet of Things, Social Media, Virtual Reality... New social trends and developments in technology will transform the ways in which we help others.

How can we build a future of doing good?
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How Giving Works

Data, regulation, giving trends, World Giving Index, science of giving, effective giving. 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.

Find out How Giving Works
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Why Giving Matters

Philanthropy, Politics of giving, History of giving, Philosophy of giving, Inequality, Democracy. Is giving more important than ever in today’s world?

Read more on giving matters

Latest Giving Thought podcasts

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    Philanthropy, diversity and inclusion

    We explore the strengths and weaknesses of philanthropy through its historic role in campaigns for social change.
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    Digital transformation and the non-profit world

    In this episode of our Giving Thought Podcast, we chat to @bethkanter about digital transformation, social media and what Artificial Intelligence might mean for the non-profit world.
  • Jim Minton 150

    Bringing diverse communities together

    15 October 2019 - We talk to Jim Minton, CEO of Toynbee Hall, about the role of local civil society organisations and the opportunities and challenges that come with place-based philanthropy.

Talks from Giving Thought

Brazilian Philanthropy Forum 2018

Rhodri Davies discusses the choice for philanthropists is no longer whether to engage with technology, but how they do so.

NAVCA's 2018 Forging Community Conference

Rhodri Davies in the Revolutionaries Roundtable, speaking about the impact of emerging dispruptive technologies on charity.

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.

Giving Thought in the news

Publications by GIVING THOUGHT

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Machine-Made Goods: Charities, Philanthropy and Artificial Intelligence

This report discusses the profound implications Artificial Intelligence will for civil society and the work of charities.
This report discusses the profound...
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CAF submission to House of Lords call for evidence on AI

This is CAF's submission to a call for evidence from the House of Lords Select committe on Artifical Intelligence (AI). We outline the work we have done in this area and how we think this technology will affect charities and donors.
This is CAF's submission to a call for...
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Giving a Sense of Place: Philanthropy and the future of UK civic identity

In this report - part of the "Giving for the City" project - we look at the the role that philanthropy can play in towns and cities around the UK, and what needs to be done to build a new golden age of civic philanthropy in this country.
In this report - part of the "Giving for the...

Meet the Giving Thought team

Rhodri Davies

Rhodri Davies

Head of Policy

Rhodri leads Giving Thought, our in-house think tank focusing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society. Rhodri has spent nearly a decade specialising in public policy around philanthropy and the work of charities, and has researched, written and presented on a wide range of topics. He has a first-class degree in Mathematics and Philosophy from the University of Oxford.   Read more about Rhodri



Daniel Ferrell-Schweppenstedde

Daniel Ferrell-Schweppenstedde

Policy Manager

Daniel's focus includes challenging the closing space for civil society, enabling positive environments for charities and the global development goals. Previously Daniel worked at the Directory of Social Change and RAND Europe. Daniel has experience of international development in Cambodia and with the Mercator Foundation. Daniel is originally from Germany and holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance and a BA/BSc in Public Administration from the University of Twente and Munster.  

T: +44 3000 123 206

The think tank for doing good


Understanding and reimagining civil society.

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