Giving more and better: How can the philanthropy sector improve?

Philanthropy has a long and rich history in the UK, catalysing some of the major social changes and founding most of our most well-known and valued institutions. The affluent in Britain do give significantly, but in a time of constraint on public spending there is a need for both more philanthropy and for the impact of that philanthropy to be greater.

This report is a summary of findings from a project funded by the Hazelhurst Trust to examine how philanthropists are influenced and encouraged or discouraged in their giving. It is informed by expert interviews and workshops with key organisations dedicated to developing greater philanthropy in the UK (NPC, The Philanthropy Workshop, Philanthropy Impact, Beacon Awards for Philanthropy,
and Ten Years’ Time).

We map three common donor journeys to help us identify the inflexion points which may result in donors deciding to give more or less. We also present two non-linear theories of change for more and better philanthropy to clarify the process of change and develop a common understanding to help organisations understand their role in this.

Previously unpublished research from Scorpio Partnership shows there is the potential to unlock an additional £4bn of private wealth for public good if there is a step change in giving behaviours. Moving towards this ambitious goal will require a wide range of coordinated activities by all the organisations working in the philanthropy sector.

This report is only the start of a discussion about how we can achieve this. Changing habits and behaviours takes many years, but we hope this report will stimulate further conversations, understanding, funding and ultimately, more and better philanthropic giving.

We welcome others to join us in this campaign, whether they work for a professional advisory firm, a third sector organisation or in any other field and have a desire to achieve more and better philanthropy in the UK. Please contact Angela Kail via and share your ideas on Twitter using the hashtag #MoreandBetter.