Economic and Social Research Council states position on Boswell resignation

Research at the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy is not focused exclusively on fundraisers, it says

The Economic and Social Research Council has set out its position in the row over the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy's funding priorities, which was sparked by Lindsay Boswell's resignation from the centre's advisory board earlier this month.

In a statement, the ESRC says: "The beneficiaries of the centre's research include fundraisers, but it is not exclusively focused on that group. 

"The centre was not conceived to serve the particular needs of just one community, and this was clearly communicated from the outset."

Boswell, chief executive of the Institute of Fundraising, resigned from the centre's advisory board earlier this month because he felt it had failed to allocate enough funding to research that would help charity fundraisers raise more money.

The ESRC issued a statement at the time saying it appreciated Boswell's involvement with the centre and that it would "continue to produce research that will inform and support the work of the fundraising community".

In its latest statement, produced in response to a request by Third Sector for a more detailed comment, the ESRC says: "One of the main aims of the centre is to provide research evidence, based on rigorous academic research, that would feed into and benefit policy and practice.

"The centre's work is designed to answer the big questions about giving and why people give - this will help many different groups involved with charitable giving, including volunteering organisations, investment institutions, foundations and trusts.

"If the Institute of Fundraising believes that the centre is not meeting the requirements of the fundraising community and wishes to provide a more targeted mapping exercise, the centre is happy to exchange ideas going forward."

  • The majority of readers who responded to a poll supported Boswell's decision to resign. Sixty-nine per cent supported his decision to leave the advisory group and to set up a new think tank to carry out fundraising research.

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