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.

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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 comment from Giving Thought

  • 8 August 2018 

    Initial Thoughts on the Civil Society Strategy

    The UK government has just published a major new Civil Society Strategy. We look at what is in it, what's missing, what's good and what's not so good.
  • 22 May 2018 

    What does Theresa May’s speech on artificial intelligence in the NHS mean for charities?

    It’s clear from the Prime Minister’s speech that she expects charities to play a crucial role in achieving the Government’s target of reducing cancer deaths by 10%. Fortunately, medical charities have already built up a head of steam, acting as early adopters of exciting technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.
  • 27 April 2018 

    Where are Charities in the Great AI Debate?

    In this blog for the World Economic Forum, CAF's Head of Policy Rhodri Davies argues that civil society organisation need to engage with the debate over the future development of AI, and that governments and the tech industry need to make eforts to engage civil society to ensure that a broad range of views are heard.

Latest Giving Thought podcasts

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    Philanthropic Pledges

    11 June 2019 - How successful has the Giving Pledge been over the last decade? We explore the controversial topic of philanthropic promises.
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    Giving done right

    28 May 2019 - We talk to @philxbuchanan from @CEPData about his new book 'Giving done right: effective giving and making every dollar count' and discuss the current criticisms of philanthropy.
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    Notre-Dame: lessons for philanthropy

    14 May 2019 - What lessons can we take from the recent surge of philanthropy in response to the fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris?

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

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    Getting a grip on technology

    New technologies will change the world – for better and worse – and will affect the future of trusts and foundations, their grantees, and the people and causes they support, possibly unrecognisably. It’s time to get on board now, argues Rhodri Davies.
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    House of Lords report on AI suggests key role for civil society

    The House of Lords’ Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence has today released a report entitled “AI in the UK: ready, willing and able?”

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

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



The think tank for doing good


Understanding and reimagining civil society.

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Women and Philanthropy podcast

Celebrating International Women’s Day we discuss famous female philanthropists, and philanthropy as a tool to fight for women’s rights.

Artificial Intelligence and charity

We explore what effect Artificial Intelligence (AI) will have on the charitable sector's future.

When should charities say no to donations?

The question of how to treat donations from potentially dubious sources is far from new, so what should charities do?