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The future of UK philanthropy lies in global innovation—NPC

A new report from think tank NPC recommends 10 philanthropic innovations from around the globe. ‘New and improved’ philanthropy could be introduced to the UK to drive up investment in social causes and make better use of money already invested.

Published today (8 October) 10 innovations in global philanthropy examines top philanthropic trends from across the world, and highlights new ideas and initiatives from across Europe, Australasia and the Americas. Each is recommended for adoption or expansion in the UK, to help philanthropists and foundations keep pace with demand for their funds.

The innovations discussed include:

·         Indian ‘giving circles’, where small groups of like-minded philanthropists group together to share expertise, conduct research and invest in a single issue. These circles, run by the foundation Dasra, are growing in popularity and achieving great results, and NPC would like to see them replicated here even more quickly

·         UK donors like the Shell Foundation are embracing the lessons they’ve learned from failure, publishing and acting on information from projects which have flopped. In Shell’s case, learning from these projects have helped them move from 80% failure rates to 80% success

·         The Australian Goodstart consortium created a whole new financial instrument—the Social Capital Note—to secure investment in children’s centres. Innovative approaches to finance, including the layering of finance from several different sources, can unlock more money for good causes

In addition to these innovations in collaboration, learning from failure and layered funding, NPC’s paper looks at other trends including open data, lean philanthropy, 100% impact investing, and more.

Plum Lomax, Deputy Head of the Funders Team at NPC and one of the authors of 10 innovations in global philanthropy, said:

It’s all about getting more money directed to philanthropic causes, and using that money to do more than ever before. UK philanthropists are already very generous, but there is always scope to look around the world to see what else could be achieved.

Big donors here should be getting together to collaborate, which doesn’t happen nearly enough,  or to use new technology to map the areas of greatest need which they might tackle. It takes a bit of nerve to adopt new ideas, but the world is changing and UK philanthropists can’t afford to be left behindThis new and improved philanthropy can be a more exciting way to connect with the causes they support.’  

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