Call for charitable funders to share knowledge

Report by New Philanthropy Capital for the City Bridge Trust says too few are doing it

New Philanthropy Capital
New Philanthropy Capital

Charitable funders should make more effort to share their knowledge, skills and expertise with other organisations to benefit the sector as a whole, according to a report published today by the think tank New Philanthropy Capital.

Foundations for Knowledge, commissioned by the City Bridge Trust, says funders are in a unique position to share useful knowledge with others, but are often not doing so.

"Their independence, resources and long-term approach enables them to build expertise and share messages in a way that others cannot," it says.

The report says there is a feeling across the sector that knowledge-sharing is not working well because charities do not want to admit when projects have gone badly.

"A culture of ‘good news stories’ means that valuable lessons about what doesn’t work are rarely publicised," it says.

"The infrastructure for sharing is underdeveloped and initiatives to improve it are fragmented and poorly resourced."

It says that all funders have a responsibility to think about knowledge-sharing in meeting their charitable objectives.

In conjunction with the City Bridge Trust and other funders, NPC will run a pilot website with the Association of Charitable Foundations for the next six months that will promote knowledge-sharing.

It is convening a group of funders to take part, and the idea is that it will include funder-specific search tools, a Q&A space and a forum.

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