Bubb announces plans for new institute of philanthropy at Oxford

03 Nov 2017 News

Sir Stephen Bubb

A new Institute for the Study of Charity and Philanthropy is expected to be established next year at an Oxford College, Sir Stephen Bubb, chief executive of Charity Futures, announced yesterday.

Bubb, the former chief executive of charity leaders body Acevo, stepped down from his role in 2015 to develop new innovations in the field of charity governance and leadership. He formed Charity Futures, with the backing of investment firm Woodford Partners, to carry out the programme of work.

Earlier this year Charity Futures partnered with another charity, the Oxford Centre for the Study of Philanthropy, to develop a research centre.

At a conference yesterday, he told delegates that Charity Futures had approached an unnamed Oxford college to establish the new institute, which he said would have a budget “in the millions rather than the hundreds of thousands” and would research how philanthropy could deliver more efficient outcomes, and how governance and leadership in the sector could be improved. It will offer a “digital laboratory” which will provide online resources for trustees.

Charity Futures and the Oxford charity will provide the governance of the institute, and Bubb will chair it.

The institute still needs approval from the university, and Bubb said that it had raised capital costs but not revenue funding. He said a building had been identified to house the institute and Professor Mark Dodgson, an Oxford academic, will head it up.

“There are a lot of institutes which look at how to get donors to give,” he said. “But this is about how we can give away money in a way which creates sustainable charities. It’s not going to be an ivory tower. It will be very focused and practical.

“We’re going to be bold. We will publish research and carry out seminars. We will consult widely on what we want to achieve.”

He said that three projects have already been approved. The centre will work with the Nudge Unit on getting funding for core costs, with CFG on mapping collaboration, and with Clore Social Leadership to develop online resources for trustees.

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