We need to 'kick start a reinvigoration of civic philanthropy', CAF report says

19 Sep 2017 News

The Charities Aid Foundation has said that philanthropy should be central to the discussion about the future of cities in the UK and that central and local government to work together to help reinvigorate Britain’s culture of civic philanthropy.

The report Giving A Sense of Place, which was released yesterday, recommends policy actions to be taken by charities and philanthropists, as well as central and local government, locally elected mayors and the public sector.

It said charities and philanthropy intermediaries need to understand motivations for place-based giving. It said fundraisers should “understand the wide range of different motivations donors and grant makers might have to for wanting to take place-based approach, and tailor their strategy accordingly”.

It also said that philanthropy advisers should join “place-based business and philanthropy advisers in their local region so that they can advice clients how to direct some of their giving towards place-based initiatives”.

'Kick start a reinvigoration of civic philanthropy '

The report was launched at the Liberal Democrats party conference yesterday, and will be discussed at the Labour and Conservative party conferences. It forms part of the CAF Giving In The City project which explores what political and social trends may mean for the future of giving in towns and cities in Britain.

Rhodri Davies, Giving Thought programme manager at CAF, who wrote the report, said: “There is a huge opportunity to use the new powers afforded by devolution to kick start a reinvigoration of civic philanthropy in the UK focused on supporting our towns and cities to be ready for the challenges and opportunities of the future.

“Our report highlights some great examples of where philanthropy is already playing a key role in urban areas and sets out what needs to be done to build a wider culture of civic giving.  This includes calling on central government to make philanthropy a key part of their plans for devolution as well as suggesting local authorities establish partnerships which bring together charities, donors, charitable trusts and others to work towards shared goals for their local area.

“We also make recommendations for what central and local government, charities and donors can do to play their part in realising the ambition of creating a new golden age of civic philanthropy in Britain.”


The report said that philanthropists should fund initiatives designed to “build understanding of the need and priorities of cities”. It added that funders can help stimulate more philanthropy and social action by funding the necessary infrastructure – such as social innovation hubs and philanthropy liaison offices.

Recommendations for central government included developing a clear narrative for philanthropy and the role it can play in strengthening civil identity. It also said it should make philanthropy a key part of localism and devolution, and where possible dedicate funding to boost development of philanthropy.

CAF’s report also recommended that mayors publish a philanthropy strategy, and adopt a convening role by using their profile and status to bring together public sector bodies, companies, charities, foundations and local philanthropists to identify shared goals and to encourage partnership and consolidation where possible.

The full report can be found here.


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