Big Society or better society?

Jul 3, 2012 | Category: CGAP News

New report calls for ‘proper discussion’ on charitable giving in the UK

Charitable giving in the UK needs powerful new perspectives if the government’s hopes for a Big Society are to be successful.

While philanthropy plays a vital part in society, its contribution is limited by the values of donors. Hence, donor decision-making needs to be directed at areas where giving is most needed and in ways that lead to greater inclusion, diversity and social justice.  

These are the conclusions of a new report from the ESRC Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy (CGAP), a consortium of universities and NCVO co-ordinated at Cass Business School, part of City University London. The report brings together leading CGAP academic experts to discuss the opportunities and challenges for philanthropy under the Big Society umbrella.

It also states that corporate giving is guided by the values of a company’s board and does not necessarily reflect the needs of the local area.

The authors argue that the sector needs to focus on entrepreneurial philanthropy. Charitable start-ups answer specific needs within a community and, as such, have the capacity to grow and develop into strong resources which will help to moderate the individualism that characterises much of today’s charitable giving.

Professor Cathy Pharoah, Co-Director of CGAP said: 

“Philanthropy is increasingly vital to people at the sharp end of current economic and social upheaval. Our work shows that we need to re-think how to direct our help to where it is most needed. There are many new opportunities to get involved in philanthropy, and in making a difference to society, and Government and others are supporting some dynamic initiatives. It’s about much more than giving money, it’s about sharing views, visions and values for a better big society.”

Read Philanthropy and a better society (pdf)

Philanthropy and a better society

Foreword (pdf)

Introduction and overview (pdf)

Section A
Historical legacy and trends in philanthropy

1 Notions of Big Society: some initial parliamentary perspectives (pdf)
Jenny Harrow

2 ‘World‑making’ and major philanthropy (pdf)
Mairi Maclean, Charles Harvey, Jillian Gordon and Eleanor Shaw

3 The Big Picture: decades of donations in the context of the wider economy (pdf)
Tom McKenzie

Section B
Commitment, concern and morals

4 ‘Am I bothered?’ Everyday morality and moral concerns and their implications for charitable giving and the Big Society (pdf)
Balihar Sanghera

5 Unmasking the institutional formations of giving (pdf)
Iain Wilkinson

Section C
Distribution of resources

6 Charity and social redistribution: the question of ‘charity deserts’ (pdf)
John Mohan

7 Exploring charitable resources in areas of affluence and areas of deprivation (pdf)
Rose Lindsey

8 Donor and governmental perceptions of philanthropy (pdf)
Beth Breeze

9 Business and the Big Society (pdf)
Matthew Bond

Section D
The future of philanthropy

10 The role of community foundations in the Big Society: taken for granted? (pdf)
Hannah Pavey, Jenny Harrow and Tobias Jung

11 The role of information communication technology in philanthropy (pdf)
Elric Honore

12 The future of philanthropy: the role of entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial philanthropy (pdf)
Eleanor Shaw, Jillian Gordon, Charles Harvey and Mairi Maclean

13 How will funding play a role in the shaping of the Big Society? (pdf)
Cathy Pharoah

Conclusions (pdf)

References (by chapter) (pdf)

About the contributors (pdf)

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