Charity and social redistribution: quantitative and qualitative perspectives

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: School of Social Sciences

Abstract

Abstracts are not currently available in GtR for all funded research. This is normally because the abstract was not required at the time of proposal submission, but may be because it included sensitive information such as personal details.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description While there is extensive non-UK scholarship on the distributional consequences of philanthropy there is little in the UK. Through a wide-ranging set of projects drawing on a range of methodologies, we have generated novel research findings in relation to the following questions:
• the distribution of charitable resources: we have demonstrated the complexities of mappings of charitable resources, and challenged notions of "charity deserts";
• the processes whereby donations come to be made and the donors and recipients' understandings of those processes;
• an academic assessment of social justice philanthropy, looking at how leading foundations frame 'social justice' and what tensions and limitations exist in their work.
• charitable giving and social class: the relationship between charitable giving and people's ultimate moral concerns and commitments.
• the relationship between board composition and corporate charitable donations: this was methodologically innovative as the first UK study to include a wide range of sociological variables as well as economic variables.
We have also had an impact by building research capacity and networks: we have developed productive partnerships with colleagues in Europe, North America, Australia. We are now fully engaged in all relevant academic networks (ERNOP, ARNOVA, ISTR and VSSN); Mohan has recently joined the ERNOP (European Research Network on Philanthropy) board.
We have established a new Centre for Philanthropy at Kent; with 2 FTE staff (one post having been created through this project), the Centre has attracted c.£300,000 of further funding (Leverhulme Trust, European Commission, companies, charitable trusts and foundations and from private philanthropists). In terms of research capacity, Breeze (formerly a PhD student at Kent at commencement of the project) is now a Reader there; Backus (research assistant to Mohan as part of CGAP's work) now holds a lectureship in economics (Manchester).

Key findings (these paragraphs relate to the original specified aims of the award)

In terms of community-level variations in the distribution of charitable resources, work on patterns and characteristics of neighbourhood-scale charities using national survey data has demonstrated strong contrasts between wealthy and deprived places in terms of numbers and types of organisations, and also in terms of characteristics (e.g. funding mix; relationships with statutory bodies); our studies of the local distribution of charitable resources highlight important differences in the characteristics and resources of charities between communities and therefore have implications for our understanding of the capacities of charitable organisations.

Work on how donors choose charities found that giving decisions are taste-driven rather than needs-driven; research into user views of fundraising found that beneficiaries object to oversimplified depictions that provoke pity rather than empathy, but they are nevertheless supportive of fundraising methods that maximise charitable income.

Charitable giving and everyday morality: giving was embedded in people's lives with different degrees of meaning and importance, in relation to moral concerns and commitments, such as family, career and social causes. For some, charity was a significant part of their life, while for most it was an incidental and marginal activity. In relation to social justice philanthropy, the term refers to a liberal conception of social justice to address social and economic disadvantages rather than tackling structural issues of privilege and power. There are internal and external constraints to social justice grant-making.

Sex composition and charitable donations: we reproduce international fundings that there is a positive effect on corporate philanthropy of having women board members, although the effect is mediated by board position and the cosmopolitanism of the board.
Exploitation Route Our work on how donors choose charities has been used by practitioners to enable them to understand more about what it is that donors want out of giving to charity.

Research on social justice philanthropy prompted vigorous debate among practitioners not just about what foundations support, but how they fund it, the range of ways of working towards social justice goals, and the tensions inherent in social justice philanthropy.

The unexpected announcement in the 2012 Budget to cap tax relief on major donations generated extensive interest in our work and the findings of that work were quoted widely by those involved in persuading the government to withdraw the proposal.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice

 
Description We can identify specific cases where charities, policymakers, and philanthropists have taken on board messages arising from our research. Work on the distribution of charitable organisations has received widespread coverage (e.g. Guardian Professional (and the print version (January 2014)), been cited by think tanks (e.g. Big Society Audit; Centre for Social Justice) and quoted by MPs (Lisa Nandy, Shadow Spokesman on Civil Society). Lloyds TSB Foundation, in their latest strategy, use this work to support their argument that communities in most need often have the least developed charitable infrastructure. Breeze and Mohan were witnesses at Parliamentary select committees (Lords, on charities) (2016) as well as supplying written evidence. Breeze's work featured in a University of Kent impact study, having been influential in persuading the Coalition government to row back on proposals to reduce certain tax reliefs for charitable giving. Our research into donor decision making ('How Donors Choose Charities': HDDC) has reached a very large number of practitioners. The core message - that giving decisions are dominated by donor taste rather than recipient need - is now widely known and accepted. HDDC was quoted directly in the final version of the Giving White Paper (2011), viz: 'the evidence from research studies and our own consultation shows that many people and organisations want to give more [but] are put off . because too often giving is unnecessarily difficult or complicated, and is not as rewarding as it could or should be' (GWP, 2011, p.9). Further significant interactions with policymakers include a presentation (Mohan & Breeze) to HM Treasury charity tax team (2009). Breeze has addressed the All Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society (2011), spoken alongside the Minister for Civil Society, Nick Hurd, at a Philanthropy Impact event (2013), and has been a long-standing member of the Giving Policy Group, which comprises influential representatives from the charity sector. Research on social justice philanthropy prompted vigorous debate and reflection at a practitioner-oriented conference (March 2013) not just about what foundations fund but how they fund, the range of ways of working towards social justice goals, and the tensions inherent in social justice philanthropy. our work generated three unanticipated further impacts: The positive reception of our findings generated numerous invitations to visit individual charities and to speak at charity sector events. We visited major charities (e.g. Cancer Research UK, Oxfam, National Trust, RNLI, Lloyds TSB Foundation, as well as smaller and regional charities such as Demelza Hospice, Leeds Community Foundation and Porchlight homeless charity. Our impact on sector bodies was also more extensive than originally anticipated. For example, one of the government's key strategic partners is Philanthropy UK (now Philanthropy Impact). Breeze served on the editorial board from 2008-2012 and the director, Cheryl Chapman has confirmed that Beth's research on the motivations and perceptions of donors "informed many of the features and articles that we produced .and helped us in our communication with donors, funders, fundraisers, charities and other media'. The unexpected announcement in the 2012 Budget to cap the tax relief on major donations generated media requests for comment on the implications of this proposal. Colleagues working in our spoke were cited widely in charity sector media, such as Third Sector and Civil Society, as well as leading mainstream media (Financial Times, Economist, the Guardian) during the ten weeks until this proposal was dropped. The third event was the Lampard Inquiry into the activities of Jimmy Savile. In order to assist the enquiry understand the historical context, Mohan's work on philanthropic support for the NHS in the 1980s and the present day was drawn on at a closed seminar run by History and Policy (May 2013), involving a number of historians: http://www.historyandpolicy.org/consultations/consultations/jimmy-savile-investigations - and the value of the seminar in providing the investigation teams with valuable understanding of the historical context for Savile's associations with NHS organisations is acknowledged there (Lampard Inquiry report, para. 6.11).
First Year Of Impact 2010
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Creative Economy,Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Appearance to give oral evidence before House of Lords Select Committee on charities, 1st November 2016.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description Evidence on the distribution, resources and characteristics of registered charities in England and Wales, drawing on collaborative work with David Clifford and Rose Lindsey
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description Quoted in report of House of Lords Select Committee on Charities, Stronger charities for a stronger society
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact Breeze's work was mentioned on multiple occasions in the final report of the House of Lords Select Committee final report on charity https://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldchar/133/133.pdf para 156 re: donor concerns about transparency (cites Breeze evidence) para 232 & 236 re charities' difficulties in covering core costs (Breeze evidence) para 278 re need to simplify Gift Aid charity tax relief (Breeze evidence) para 359 re the potential for social media (Breeze & Body evidence) para 390 - on social investment (Breeze evidence) para 438 - importance of distributional consequences of philanthropy (Breeze & Body evidence)
URL https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201617/ldselect/ldchar/133/133.pdf
 
Description Submitted written and oral evidence to the House of Lords Charity select committee
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/lords-select/charities-committee/news-p...
 
Description Use of research outputs from this project to inform review of charity strategy
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact We have the following testimonial from a consultant who has been working with one of the most high-profile national charities, and one with significant royal connections, to support disadvantaged young people. She states: "I've used your study [The Logic of Charity] as a core part of our strategy for XXX, a youth charity, who are now going through a full brand refresh in 2017 as a result. XXX has been declining in relevance for a number of years, despite their communications focusing on effectiveness, topical issues and accountability. I found great insight in your study around the complex and confused nature of people's relationships with charity and its role in society, as well as the underlying emotional reasons for wanting to donate (including self-efficacy). It really highlighted how recent concerns around accountability are not that new. We've combined your insight with cultural insight around public apathy, political uncertainty and media coverage of youth disenfranchisement - going forward our communicating will look to create a relevant and meaningful role for XXX that feels much more of a movement for change than a charity."
 
Description Written evidence to House of Lords Select Committee on charities (jointly with Dr Beth Breeze, Centre for Philanthropy, UNiversity of Kent) on attitudes to charities, charitable giving, and fundraising.
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL http://data.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/committeeevidence.svc/evidencedocument/select-committee-on...
 
Description evidence to government departments drawing on Breeze's research on charitable giving
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
Impact Interactions with the Charity team in the Cabinet Office and now based in DCMS, meetings, phone calls, participation in seminars, for example in summer 2017 our research is being used by the Social Action Team in the Office of Civil Society, DCMS, to shape governmental efforts to encourage more major donors.
 
Description Article in public interest media 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the New Statesman, 21st January 2016, summarising key findings from John Mohan and Beth Breeze's book, The Logic of Charity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/welfare/2016/01/charity-time-austerity-great-expectations-hard-...
 
Description Charitable giving is often driven by personal taste, not perceived need 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Guardian article exploring research on how donors choose charities

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2011/sep/15/personal-taste-drives-charitable-givi...
 
Description High engagement donors - more than money 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Seminar presentation on findings from a series of studies she has undertaken, exploring the practice and purpose of philanthropy amongst the wealthier end of UK society.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2009,2010,2011,2012
 
Description How do homeless young people view 'hard-hitting' ads depicting them? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Guardian Article explaining that stereotypes are unhelpful, but young homeless people appreciate that maximising donations is crucial

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/aug/14/charities-listen-beneficiaries-fundraising-adverts?new...
 
Description Newspaper article 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article in the Guardian, January 2014, critiquing contentions that "charity deserts" exist - as proposed by various Conservative leaning think tanks.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL https://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/15/charitable-resources-not-targeted-where-needed
 
Description On How Donors Choose Charities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Primary Audience
Results and Impact Article on the reasons why donors choose charities in Northern Ireland voluntary/community sector magazine View
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://f.cl.ly/items/051w2c2o0H0v25450z3B/VIEW%209%20PDF.pdf
 
Description Presentation on How Major Donors choose charities 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at conference organised by the Institute of Fundraising. c.150 practitioners, plus a handful of policy makers and media, in attendance.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.institute-of-fundraising.org.uk/events-and-training/events/major-donor-fundraising-confer...
 
Description Presentation to fundraisers 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This presentation was part of the Directory of Social Change;'s annual funding fait.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description The shop floor perspective on corporate philanthropy 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Article reviewing research into motivations for employee involvement in workplace fundraising

The Guardian
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2012/oct/02/shop-floor-corporate-philanthropy
 
Description broadcast, BBC radio 4 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Broadcast on Radio 4' THinking Allowed, 21st March 2016, in the form of a discussion of my book (co-authored with Beth Breeze), The Logic of Charity, along with a prominent philanthropist (Sir Thomas Hughes-Hallett) and Dr Lindsey McGoey (Author of No such thing as a free gift).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0738k6v