Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy -- successful bids announced

November 07, 2007

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Office of the Third Sector (OTS) in the Cabinet Office, The Carnegie UK Trust and the Scottish Government have today (7th November) announced the successful bids to establish the UK's first independent, multidisciplinary and academically based Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy.

The Centre, which sees a total joint investment of £2.2million over 5 years, will support high quality independent research aimed at influencing policy and practice decisions in the UK as well as developing the necessary evidence base to better understand charitable giving and philanthropy issues. It also aims to help third sector organisations, government and business to better understand why and how individuals and businesses can give, helping to increase and target giving to support the public good.

Named as the Director of the new Centre, Professor Jenny Harrow from Cass Business School, City University commented: "The Centre will act as a co-ordinating hub, in a unique partnership between Cass, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) and the University of Edinburgh. We aim to be a centre of excellence for independent, high quality, innovative, strategic research, enhancing the evidence base to inform charitable giving and philanthropy development, as well as a hub for engaging national and international stakeholders, for capacity development and knowledge exchange."

Three "spokes" for the Centre will also be funded in the following areas:Commenting on the announcements, Professor Ian Diamond, Chief Executive of the ESRC, said, "This exciting new research centre reinforces our commitment to supporting leading edge research in areas that impact on key areas for society and policy, further confirming our commitment to the Third Sector and strengthening the UK research base. This is a solid investment that will help to ensure that the research base contributes fully to the economic development and quality of life for the people of the UK and beyond."

Phil Hope, Minister for the Third Sector commented: "Giving is a major source of funding for the Third Sector. Having a dedicated research centre for giving will help us to better understand the motivations behind why people give and the reasons why they choose to give in particular ways. The Centre will provide the sector, and the Government, with the robust evidence it needs to really capitalise on the many successful methods already used to encourage giving."

Carnegie UK Trust Chief Executive, Charlie McConnell said 'the announcement that five universities in England and Scotland will be collaborating to form a centre to enhance the quality and quantity of R&D support for charitable trusts and foundations across the UK, is enormously significant. It is a reflection of the explosion of charitable giving and philanthropy in recent years, and we believe will enable the sector to make a more effective contribution towards addressing social, economic and environmental challenges in the UK and internationally.'

Karl Wilding, Head of Research at NCVO said: "We are delighted to be involved in this new research centre. It will build up a much needed evidence base, which will give voluntary organisations around the UK a solid foundation, and increased insight, on which to carry out their work."

ESRC Press Office:

Alexandra Saxon (Tel: 01793 413032 / 07971027335, email: alexandra.saxon@esrc.ac.uk)
Danielle Moore (Tel: 01793 413122, email: danielle.moore@esrc.ac.uk)


1. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. It supports independent, high quality research relevant to business, the public sector and voluntary organisations. The ESRC's planned total expenditure in 2007/08 is £181 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and research policy institutes. More at http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk

2. ESRC Society Today offers free access to a broad range of social science research and presents it in a way that makes it easy to navigate and saves users valuable time. As well as bringing together all ESRC-funded research (formerly accessible via the Regard website) and key online resources such as the Social Science Information Gateway and the UK Data Archive, non-ESRC resources are included, for example the Office for National Statistics. The portal provides access to early findings and research summaries, as well as full texts and original datasets through integrated search facilities. More at http://www.esrcsocietytoday.ac.uk

3. Cass Business School (City University, London) delivers innovative, relevant and forward-looking education, training, consultancy and research. Located on the doorstep of one of the world's leading financial centres, Cass is perfectly positioned to be the intellectual hub of the City. Its dialogue with business shapes the structure and content of all programmes of study, executive education programmes and research. The MBA, Specialist Masters and Undergraduate Programmes have a reputation for excellence in professional education and the Executive MBA is ranked 18th in the world by the Financial Times. For further information visit www.cass.city.ac.uk

4. Within Cass, the Centre for Charity Effectiveness aims to increase the effectiveness and achievement of voluntary and community organisations, their staff and volunteers by offering part-time MScs and postgraduate courses, short courses, consultancy, coaching and mentoring, research, learning network and online resources. For further information visit: http://www.centreforcharityeffectiveness.org

5. The National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) is the umbrella body for the voluntary sector in England, with sister councils in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. NCVO has a growing membership of over 5,400 voluntary organisations, ranging from large national bodies to community groups, volunteer centres, and development agencies working at a local level. For more information please visit www.ncvo-vol.org.uk.

Economic & Social Research Council
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