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Making your giving go further
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Getting giving to be based on sound evidence
Why don't more charities and foundations let the public in?
 
Most charities and foundations are tax-subsidised. So it seems reasonable that they should let the public hear what they're doing and ask questions. Few do. Giving Evidence found out just how few by surveying big charities and big foundations in the US and UK. Read it here.
How To Give It
 
What research do UK mental health charities use and produce?
 
Giving Evidence mapped the 'evidence system' for UK mental health charities, i.e., what evidence they produce, how that is shared, what they use, and how they find that. The report is here. We had thought that we'd find that they only publish 'impact research' which flatters them, but actually we didn't... but we did find much else which can be improved and are now working on that.
What makes for good long-term outcomes for young people?

Sail Training is like many social programmes, in that its goals are long-term: to improve young people's life chances. However, many organisations which provide Sail Training can't afford studies which are long enough to see those 'ultimate outcomes'. Giving Evidence was asked to look at the whole literature to find short-term outcomes that, if 'produced' by an intervention, have a beneficial effect on key longer-term outcomes. We worked with UCL (again!) and the results are here.
Learning from evidence-based medicine

Medicine is ~50 years and several $00bn ahead of philanthropy in terms of producing and using evidence. So it's like a time-machine for us! - we learn a lot. Giving Evidence studied how the transition to evidence-based practice happened (and continues), how experiments became normal, how experimental methods were developed, big historical wins, and implications for social sectors. The report is here. 

Articles and research we really like:


'Building a Foundation for the 21st Century': a radial re-think of what foundations are for and how they should work, by Clara Miller, President of the F.B.Heron Foundation.



'The Theory of the Foundation', which, based on 'the theory of the firm' in economics, looks at what should foundations do in-house versus outsource, and when should they be single vs. multiple organisations. By Melissa Berman of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

 

We want to support charities to describe their interventions better so others can replicate the good ones. If you're interested in this too (e.g., funding some work on it) please get in touch.
 


Great things to do

Come and hear Caroline at the What Works Global Summit, London, next week!


Support our work, since there is tons of work to be done to improve charities' performance.


Book Caroline to speak at an event. Contact Jo.


Join us: we always need smart people, who can do analysis, write well, and respect deadlines.


 
We always welcome feedback: on this newsletter, our writings or our ideas.
Contact details here.
If you are interested in seeing how existing research can inform your own giving, contact us.
Copyright © 2016 Giving Evidence, All rights reserved.