Giving Thought

WHY CIVIL SOCIETY MATTERS

How do we strengthen the vital role of civil society within democracy?

Civil society plays a vital role in any healthy democracy. It offers a space in which people can come together to share interests and common goals; and also a means to challenge the failings of current systems and thus improve society.

Here we explore the opportunities for strengthening civil society around the world, and the barriers to doing so. We look at what needs to be done in terms of policy and practice to ensure that civil society can realise its full potential.

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Comment and Insight

  • 22 January 2013 

    Put a 'sock puppet' in it

    A new report released today by the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector raises concerns that the independence of charities and their ability to campaign against government policy is being threatened.

  • 7 January 2013 

    An international challenge

    Looking at the challenges facing Irish charities.
  • 11 October 2011 

    What would the new restrictions on campaigning mean for charities?

    A new report released today by the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector raises concerns that the independence of charities and their ability to campaign against government policy is being threatened.

VIDEO AND PODCASTS ABOUT CIVIL SOCIETY

The culture of philanthropy discussed at the 2017 ACF Annual Conference

Rhodri Davies discusses social inequality and how successful philanthropy from the past can guide the future of giving.

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.

CIVIL SOCIETY MATTERS RESOURCES

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Do As I Say, Not As I Do: UK policy and the global closing space for civil society

In this report we explore recent policy developments affecting advocacy by civil society organisations in the UK, and the effect these may have on the UK's soft power.
In this report we explore recent policy...
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Future World Giving: Enabling an Independent Not-for-profit sector

This report warns that poor legislation on not-for-profit campaigning and independence could jeopardise efforts to promote giving among new generations of middle class people emerging across the world, potentially costing up to $224 billion a year to good causes by 2030.
This report warns that poor legislation on...
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Beyond Integrity: Exploring the role of business in preserving the civil society space

This report, produced by CAF in collaboration with the LSE, examines how some companies are going above and beyond their traditional role to protect civic space. It highlights case studies of companies that have championed and stood up for individuals and civil society organisations.
This report, produced by CAF in...

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Podcast: Philanthropy, civil rights and movement capture

We talk to Megan Ming Francis about her recent paper and her work on the role of philanthropic funders in supporting the civil rights movement.