Giving Thought


CAF’s in-house think tank focussing on current and future issues affecting philanthropy and civil society.


Many believe AI is a technology that will shape our future

The application of algorithmic processes and machine learning to the vast amount of data being generated every day is already having a profound impact on our lives and society. And this is only likely to increase in coming years.

AI will affect civil society and charities in a wide range of ways - both good and bad - including:

  1. New ways of achieving social missions: AI can enable automation and allow the analysis of data at an unprecedented scale and speed, which could lead to completely new ideas for solving social and environmental problems.
  2. Changing the way organisations operate: AI could transform things like financial reporting and regulation, it could alter the ways in which people are able to support charities, and it could event replace traditional models of governance entirely.
  3. Creating new problems to address: AI, like any technology, may have unintended negative consequences. Civil society needs to play a key role in ensuring that these are minimised, and a role in addressing them if they cannot be avoided.


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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.
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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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Charities, step up! AI will change how humans behave

CAF’s Head of Policy delves into how AI will affect human behaviour itself, and what this will mean for charities.
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Can we trust AI if we don't know how it works?

"If these systems are being used for things like voting or access to public services, which we're starting to see, then that's usually problematic." Says Rhodri Davies.
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What are the speedbumps that stop charities from using AI?

Civil society must play a role in developing artificial intelligence, says the Charities Aid Foundation's head of policy. So what are the challenges to overcome?

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?”


The Landscape for Grantmaking in 2043

Rhodri Davies looks at some of the key technological, social and political trends that might shape the next 25 years for foundations and grantmakers. This presentation was first shared at the Yorkshire Grantmakers Forum 25th Anniversary event in May 2018.

Disruptive Technology, Philanthropy & Civil Society

Rhodri Davies discusses why funders and CSOs should care about disruptive technology. This presentation was first shared at the Tech, Philanthropy and Civil Society webinar from WINGS (Worldwide initiatives for Grantmaker Support) and CAF in April 2018.

Robotic Alms: AI and the future of charitable giving

In this presentation, Head of Policy Rhodri Davies asks: could AI lead to the development of effective, low-cost philanthropy advice, and thus drive better and more effective giving?

AI in Action

My New Home - AI explains the life for refugee children

My New Home by Plan International Sweden is a 360-degree film, made with virtual reality technology, about refugee children in Tanzania. It is an interactive story, in which you explore Nyarugusu Refugee Camp as if you were one of the children living there.


We regularly publish insight and comment looking at the challenges of artificial intelligence for charity and philanthropy. You can find more detail on the fascinating ideas and questions provoked by these topics, below.


Philanthropy, civil society and artificial intelligence

In this podcast Rhod discusses the impact Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to have on philanthropy and civil society.

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Algorithms & effective altruism

In this episode, we look at the role that Artificial Intelligence (AI) could play in accelerating new, data-driven approaches to philanthropy.

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Philanthropy and technology

This podcasts takes a look how philanthropy has supported and harnessed technology and the challenges ahead.

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Rhodri Davies

Head of Policy

Rhodri leads Giving Thought, CAF’s 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.

Find out more about Rhodri



Rhodri's Twitter

For more on blockchain and charities, follow Rhodri on Twitter.

Giving Thought blog

The latest on key issues affecting civil society, philanthropy, social investment and using new technologies for social good.

Bitcoin and Blockchain Technology

Here you can find all of our publications on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, together with some extra video content